Create-Ability: the changing meaning of art and artistry

Gerard Lemos

Drawing on the experience of arts projects, Gerard Lemos argues that making art can help vulnerable people to manage their emotions better and so live a better life.

With the support of the City of London’s City Bridge Trust, we visited arts projects in a range of settings. The participants we encountered were hugely diverse: people with mental health problems, older people in care homes, young people, adults with learning disabilities, women prisoners, ex-offenders and many more.  We were struck by the highly structured, focused and clearly defined methods, the lack of time-wasting.

The facilitators of the projects we observed were highly versatile, enhancing creative skills to reduce stigma and exclusion, and giving a powerful voice to participants facing up to a diverse range of challenges.

Art can release the creative potential inside each and everyone one of us, regardless of background and personal circumstance.  The magic of making is accessible to all, and becoming an artist is the best possible way for people to understand and manage their emotions better.

"Gerard Lemos, one of the country’s leading thinkers in social policy, has produced a fascinating report into the role the arts can play in social care." Community Care

Report can be downloaded (free) from 

Resource/Research Type:
Resource Type: Report
Document Details:
Author: Gerard Lemos
Publisher Details:
Publisher: Lemos and Crane
Publisher Year: July 2011
Audio/Video Details: