How this group of University of Lincoln students are using art to help overcome addiction

Art isn’t just about the fancy drawings as this project shows

A group of students at the University of Lincoln are helping people deal with alcohol and drug misuse through art.

It’s part of their Fine Art course where they are putting together an art exhibition alongside two addiction charities; We Are With You and Double Impact.

The exhibition is titled: ‘Groundings: The Four Tables’ and it is tackling the issues that surround drug and alcohol misuse and is giving service users the opportunities to express themselves through art.

It will be taking place in the Peter De Wint Building on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus between the 24th May to the 29th May.

The location of the art exhibition

The exhibition is the final showcase after the module saw them do weekly workshops with service users.

During the workshops they built up their art skills in the hope that after the project they continue to use art as an outlet to guide them through their recovery.

The pieces have been done both in the workshops and independently, so they give a look into the participants feelings at the time of the arts creation.

The name ‘Groundings: The Four Tables’ comes from the student’s intentions for “everyone to be allowed a seat at the table” after speaking to the participants and finding that they “felt outcasted or isolated because of their addiction.”

The team putting on the event consists of eight second year students, a lecturer, a member of the Double Impact team and seven service users from We Are With You and Double Impact.

The University of Lincoln is the only UK university that allows its Fine Art students to get experience within the art therapy sector in their degree.

The module has been running since 2018 and was first set up by Dr Conan Lawrence but is now ran by Dr Alice Bell.

The type of art on show will be both abstract and realism pieces with a range of mediums such as pencil drawings, paintings and ballgowns.

Some of the work done by the service users

Bailey, a student involved in the exhibition said: “Being able to help someone navigate a difficult experience is extremely rewarding, the participants journeys are not always linear but by talking to them sometimes you can help reframe their own personal narrative.”

“You can realise the value of conversation and openly talking about the issues service users face.”

The workshops help both the service users overcome addiction problems but also aid the students by giving them the opportunity to talk to people and help them in their lives through art.

Some of the work done by the service users

Another student, Alasdair, said: “It’s rewarding to see the artists grow in confidence and produce some really amazing and thought-provoking work.”

The opening night is on the 24th May at 5pm which you need to book tickets for.

Tickets are free to get using the following link:

Then from the 25th May to the 27th May it will be open from 10am to 5pm and then from 10am to 3pm on that weekend where it will end on the Sunday.

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