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Mindful Creativity Comes To Kāpiti, To Help Locals Bound Back After A Challenging 2020

Mindfulness is increasingly being recognised as a practice that can support health, wellbeing and stress management techniques. From February 2021, Kāpiti locals will have the chance to explore mindfulness through art and creativity, with workshops running out of the studio of Kapiti artist Jordan Harcourt-Hughes.

Mindfulness has come to the fore in recent times as people look for ways to best navigate the challenging landscapes of the world since Covid-19 appeared. We exist in a global landscape challenged by pandemic surges, climate change, and geopolitical instability. Our concerns around these things can get the best of all of us at times.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand says ‘Research suggests that when we intentionally practise being mindful, we feel less stressed, anxious and depressed, and more balanced and in tune with what is happening inside and outside of our bodies. The resulting calm and clarity boosts wellbeing, broadens perspective and provides an important foundation for learning.’

Jordan, an abstract painter, notes that art, mindfulness, nature and creativity can combine to enhance our sense of wellbeing.

‘Creativity provides an abundance of opportunity to relax, unwind and de-stress’ says Jordan.

‘In my workshops, we explore a range of creative techniques and exercises from doodling to sketching, exploring watercolour, charcoal and acrylic painting. We play with intuitive writing and explore visualisations and breathing exercises.’

‘Exploring our stories and experiences through creative play also enables us to re-connect with our inner selves and reflect on our experiences. It’s a way of finding new meaning and gleaning wisdom from what we’ve experienced.’

‘168 Days of Kapiti Magic offers an experience that combines creativity with wellbeing, a sense of purpose, and relaxation.’

The programme has received funding support from the latest round of the Creative Communities Scheme.

Chair of Creative Communities Grants Allocation Subcommittee Jackie Elliott says the funding recipients will play an important part in the Kāpiti district’s COVID-19 recovery and in capturing local experiences.

“Artistic expression plays a vital role in helping individuals and communities understand the world around us, and in this uncertain time we all need a bit of help processing 2020,” Cr Elliott says.

“In selecting the projects funded this round, the committee considered how they would support our community in the recovery from lockdown and as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 climate.

168 Days of Kāpiti Magic is a mixed delivery course, with Zoom tutorials and literary as well as monthly half-day workshops in Jordan’s Otaihanga art studio.

The course is open to everyone who wants to explore creativity for wellbeing, relaxation and fun.

About Jordan

Jordan’s painting studio is in Otaihanga. Her work is renowned for a vibrant use of colour and is a dialogue about nature, abstract beauty, spiritual experience and pattern making.

Jordan has been tutoring a range of creative courses through Wellington Community College since 2019. Covering marketing, design, creativity and mindfulness, Jordan’s courses invite participants to explore elements of wellness, personal evolution, digital savvy and artistic expression. 2021 is the first year of her offering studio-based programmes in Kapiti.

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