Society for the Arts in Healthcare Poster presented in Buffalo

 

Carol at the Buffalo Hyatt, Society for the Arts in Healthcare Annual Conference

Carol at the Buffalo Hyatt, Society for the Arts in Healthcare Annual Conference

The whole purpose of this trip was to attend this conference. I contributed a poster, which told the story of my recent Heritage Weaving Project in the Atrium of the St Boniface General Hospital:

Braiding and Weaving relaxing, creative, meditative

Introduction
“Spinning and Weaving are the highest forms of Meditation”
Mahatma Ghandhi
The project described here, one of several undertaken at the
St Boniface General Hospital Atrium in Winnipeg, Manitoba,
produced 8 Fingerwoven Samples for The Manitoba Museum.

The type of weaving selected seemed appropriate to the setting:
-Fingerweaving is low-tech, no noise, easily mobile,
quick to set-up and take-down daily.
-The project was very time consuming,
but also easily interrupted,
the weaver is able to interact with the public.
-The method used is culturally very significant
to the demographic served by the hospital.
-Perceived as a disappearing art,
it generated much interest.

Slow but measurable progress over a period of 10 months,
allowed for a rapport between weaver and atrium visitor:
-Hospital staff regularly visit the atrium on break time.
-Visitors enter and exit the hospital through the atrium.
-The atrium is accessible to hospital patients.

The variety of patterns in the samples were based
on articles in museums across North America.
Sash samples will be used by the Manitoba Museum
for future education & display purposes.

Previous weaving projects
received much anecdotal support,
I decided to institute a method
for generating concrete measurement of success.

Purposes
Humans reach to their heritage
in times of crisis in search of healing.
Repetitive creative activities
draw the individual into a mental state
in which they access their personal resources.
Weaving is a metaphor for teamwork:
Alone we are fragile, together we are strong.

Methods
In-house advertising was done
through the hospital newsletter.
Poster announcing my presence
was on display in the Atrium.
Weaving took place in the Atrium,
3 days per week, 11AM to 4PM,
November 2007, to July, 2008. Materials were made available
for visitors to try fingerweaving.
These numbers are countable.
Knitting, crochet, and quilting assistance
also offered.
Brochure outlining the program
was available to visitors.
Brochures taken is countable.
Guest book was offered
to visitors for signing.
Book signatures are countable.
Designs were chosen in consultation
with Manitoba Museum curator.
Samples were woven according
to the fingerweaving method.

Outcomes
Weaving in the Atrium of the St. Boniface General Hospital contributed to a healing environment.
On the basis of comments left in the guest book, individuals expressed the impression that:
-The sight of the sash speaks a welcome
to local ethnic groups.
Number of brochures taken and read: 972
-Weaving provided a diversion and relaxation
for staff, patients, and visitors.
Estimated average 50 per day, watching.
-Craft was promoted as a means to personal re-sourcing;
Individuals reported that looking was nice,
but doing it themselves was even better.
Number of individuals completing a small sample: 172

The Manitoba Museum received 8 fingerwoven pieces
for education & display purposes.
Conclusion
Weaving is an effective remedy
for the stress experienced in health care settings.
Acknowledgements
Manitoba Artists in Healthcare
Manitoba Culture Heritage and Tourism
Musée de St. Boniface Museum
St. Boniface General Hospital
The Manitoba Museum

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