Story Topics

Hind Grove Creativity Group

Art and friendship at the Grove Elders Art Club.

The Grove Elders Art Club has been up and running for 20 years now. During that time, they’ve seen people come and go with each class, developed their skills and work over the years, and even held a few exhibitions to showcase their paintings and progress. But, at the heart of it all, there has remained a core group of friends, a warm and welcoming environment, and the chance to unleash their creativity every week.

The class is held on a Tuesday afternoon for 2 hours a week and the participants range from their 60s to their 90s. There’s tea, biscuits, and a lot of chatter going round as David, the instructor, leads them through different challenges to develop their techniques and goes through each painting step by step with them. They’re all tight friends – evident in the way they gently poke fun at each other – but are big on encouraging other people to come along too.

So why should you join?

They offered a very compelling case when we spoke to them about it, saying that although it might be an effort to get out and about, it’s very worth it! Even just the journey helps to keep their mind active and gives them some much needed exercise and something to look forward to each week. They mentioned that, in particular, it stops them from going the whole day without seeing someone, so getting out to the art class definitely helps reduce isolation and loneliness. The friendship the group offers is a huge reason why they come week on week, with the chance to make connections in the community and have people to check up on them regularly.

For others, the art takes centre stage. Although their mobility might get affected as they get older, they find ways to get around it – and even see themselves improving every week. David, the teacher, says that their art is a skill, a skill they can retain and even improve on as they get older. Each of the participants take a different view on it; for some it feels amazing to see what they can produce, and for others it simply just boosts their confidence. Some find it helps them connect with their grandchildren, and some even bring their grandchildren along occasionally.

A lot of people they speak to don’t come to the classes, purely because they don’t think that they’re any good at art. It’s a shame, they say, that they don’t try it and come regardless.

Back to Stories

It makes you feel good, to see what you can create.