On Friday I went to the launch of the anthology created by the One Leaf, One link project in Perth. It was run by an organisation called Plus, a user-led mental health service funded by the NHS. The project ran for over a year, and produced a tree hung with leaves created in all sorts of different media,by school-children, pensioners, support workers and clients, friends and well-wishers, and poems which were mounted on hand-made paper, and beautifully displayed.
At the end of the project an anthology was been created by Jackie Proctor, the project leader. It will be sold in Perth library in aid of the work of Plus. It has Walking on Water in it, on a page of blue and white marbled paper she chose for it.
This was the book that was launched on Friday.It was a lovely occasion. Margaret Gillies-Brown, whom I knew from the Callander Poetry Festival, was there, and there were speeches, well-deserved tributes to those who had been involved, a song by a local primary school, and some very good chocolate cake, iced in red and with autumn leaves on it.
I have thought for a long time - that art therapy needs to have genuine artistic aspirations and respect for production values to have any value as either art or therapy. Workshop anthologies sometimes don't reflect this - they can be rather poor quality and rely on loyalty from the friends and relations of those participating for their success. But not this one. Jackie's vision and craftsmanship have produced a book that is lovely to handle as well as beautiful to look at.