Posted on December 5, 2017
We remember the 2017 show for its autumnal beauty, its delicious wholesome food, and for its increased efforts to raise awareness of the work done by mental health charity The Cart Shed.
After a month of opening to the public, Out Of Nature 2017 closed on 29 October. We welcomed around 4,000 visitors from all over the UK and beyond, who had come to enjoy, see, feel, touch, walk into and in some instances, play on, over 240 sculptures exhibited around the gardens and grounds of Newport House.
Out of Nature’s prime objective was to raise funds for and awareness of The Cart Shed, a charity about which I am passionate and of which I am a trustee. It provides daily evidence of how “just being” outdoors in a safe and embracing human environment allows the body and the mind to restore, refresh and manage debilitating mental health conditions such as depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, substance misuse and anxiety.
Images from the exhibition linger on - of sculptures coming alive in the autumn light, of cosiness and yummy, wholesome food in the food tent, and of enriching encounters with visitors.
The garden and the sculptures brought awe and wonder. They were a portal into a natural world that is stunningly beautiful, nurturing, embracing.
Visitors commented that it was “inspiring”, “uplifting”, “breath taking”. Even on the rainy, chilly days.
It was heartening to see so many people of different ages, backgrounds and views share the experience: we live in a wonderful natural world, and it is there for us to dip into whenever we need it. Be it through delicious fruit and vegetables, the scent of flowers or dead leaves, through a walk outside with the dog… or through days at The Cart Shed.
We raised around £5,000, increased awareness of The Cart Shed, enrolled many new volunteers and continued to develop community understanding around the impact of poor mental health and what can be done to support those who live with it. What the implications of this experience are is yet unclear. But warm memories stay in one’s mind for a long time, like a teddy bear that can be pulled out when needed. Connections have been made.
May that awe, wonder and trust in natural processes be integrated into our lives more and more!
Jenny Watt Newport House, November 2017
Heartfelt thanks to:
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