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Body Stories - A 3 year project researching health & movement concludes with a conference, seminar, booklet and video.
A conference and seminar to mark the end of an innovative and dynamic three year health and movement project
A conference and seminar to mark the end of an innovative and dynamic three year health and movement project in Northumberland and Cumbria, led by Miranda Tufnell and Tim Rubidge, took place at the Queens Hall Arts Centre on Wednesday, 5th May 2004, entitled 'When I Open My Eyes'.

The conference was endorsed with keynote speakers, Mike White, Director of Projects, Centre for Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine, University of Durham); Lucinda Jarett (Artistic Director of Rosetta Life, an artist-led organisation working in hospices); Penny Greenland (Director of Jabadao, author of 'Hopping Home Backwards' on the importance of movement play in human development); Dr Malcolm Rigler (GP who has pioneered the use of arts in his surgery); Dr Gavin Young (GP at Temple Sowerby surgery, Cumbria) and Brenda Mallon (Writer and Psychotherapist whose books include: 'Dreams, Counselling & Healing' and 'A Year of Creativity')

The conference brought together health officials; funders; artists and those who have been helped by the project who were pragmatic throughout discussions that took place in developing innovative strategies for the future of combining health and art activity in creating a feeling of well-being.

'I was delighted, really delighted that someone was thinking along these lines of providing something more.. that we can't as health professionals or haven't got the time to provide - I could see the benefits in many ways'. Dot Main, formerly practice nurse.

Body Stories was founded by dancers Miranda Tufnell and Tim Rubidge to bring movement and imagination into health and community settings. There aim was to establish supportive and informal workshop settings where there was time for people suffering from various kinds of mental and physical distress to come together and discover a more positive and creative relationship with themselves, their bodies and their lives. 'It was amazing last week. I felt I could breathe. It was so amazing.' Laura, workshop participant.

Those who have participated have enjoyed relaxation workshops involving gentle movement, breathing techniques, creative making including drawing, painting and sculpting.

'I feel like myself again, I've found parts of me I didn't know were there'.

'This course has helped me tremendously to start feeling alive again rather than just living. I realise I had been creatively 'dead' for quite a few years while cancer was taking hold and after surgery and subsequent treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This has given me hope for a brighter future'. Workshop participants.

Body Stories has published a 60 page colourful booklet reporting on this three year project exploring body, imagination and health drawing on facts and experiences from their activities and giving and overall evaluation of the project supported by a 20 minute documentary video. The book and video can be purchased from Body Stories at �10 per copy.

Body Stories 3 year research project has been funded through The Arts Council of England, North East & North West, Wansbeck District Council, Eden Arts and supported through the Northern Rock Foundation.

For further information on Body Stories work, images and interviews, please contact Christine Grimwood on 0191 261 0505 or e-mail: Christine.Grimwood@dancecity.co.uk