We need to talk about freedom

Last Thursday, 40 delegates from across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and beyond gathered in Storey’s Field, Eddington to share, make and reflect on how to create therapeutic moments of care in nature.

artscaping in the sun


Our colleagues were invited to take time, slow down, and reflect together, especially on any moments, memories and visions for different ways of being together. The event encompassed four creative moments hosted by CCI artists with therapists from Cambridge Acorn Project, alongside Dr Zoe Moula (Kings College London) and Dr Gabrielle Arenge (Cambridge University) and Katie Edwards (Fullscope). The sun shone as the artists introduced delegates to the multi-sensory elements of Artscaping:

  • Susanne Jasilek and Matt Edge led a creative moment with/in their outside space, working with pictures that became a springboard, were embellished by, and camouflaged in nature;
  • Tonka Uzu and Anna Billington invited delegates to think with their fingers to tap into intuitive ways of knowing and playfulness, enabling conversations side by side while the hands are doing something else;
  • Filipa Pereira Stubbs and Michelle Grogan brought in presence to explore the landscape of the body and the landscape of the empty page, bringing in music, soundscapes and engaging the body in a relaxing and improvisational way;
  • Hilary Cox Condron and Evonne Austen curated an Artscaper archive in nature, recording, gathering and labelling colours, treasures and stories, creating an exhibition trail and a collaborative map.


CCI Director Ruth Sapsed was delighted to welcome such a broad cross section of East Anglia’s most experienced professionals. Zoe shared the research evidence of how creative practices can be therapeutic in nature. The day ended with a rousing testimony from Matt Edge, CAP Director and Practitioner, reminding us that while change can be slow, freedom is therapeutic. Speaking of the importance of freedom for children and young people, Matt emphasised that if we want to create more spaces of care for our communities, we need to talk more about freedom. The sheer breadth of experience represented was itself a testimony to the interest and desire for more spaces of creative, therapeutic care with nature. We are all learning together, and we need all of our perspectives to build a truly transformative coalition for creative health.


drawing in workshop


I wish the mainstream education sector prioritised therapeutic experiences. This IS education, it is what ALL young people need. 

Workshop participant 

This one-day creative exchange was curated by Emily Dowdeswell to offer an immersive, active and interactive training experience intended to collaboratively build our knowledge, skills and understanding of how elements of Artscaping can be incorporated into existing work. To learn more about the collaboration between CCI, CAP and Fullscope please click here. With thanks to King's College London ESRC Impact Acceleration Award for their generous support.