Katherine Lowe has been working using expressive arts to support health and well being since 2013 and in 2017 established Banyan Arts as a Community Interest Company (CIC).  Katherine has been developing and delivering innovative and effective expressive art well being services for vulnerable people and the people who care for them.

Director: Katherine is a drama teacher with experience of transformative arts and arts for health and intergenerational working.

Damien Wooten is a documentary and art photographer living in Gateshead. He has worked on a wide range of photographic projects and commissions and has exhibited work both regionally and nationally for 30 years. Most recently he exhibited 'The Radical Road' project at Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland. In March this year he will be exhibiting ‘Close The Door On Past Dreariness’, at Newcastle Arts Centre, which documents the current homeless crisis.
Damien has worked with a range of community groups developing photographic based projects - including pin-hole photography, studio portraiture and using mobile phones to record the environment around us. The group work has an emphasis on learning,enjoyment, creativity, confidence building and well-being. Most recently he has worked with Banyan Arts and stroke survivors to create a series of ‘self-portraits’, exploring ideas around celebrating identity and individuality.

Steve Simpson Advisor and Supporter of Banyan Arts. Steve works in conjunction with Katherine to develop activities and initiatives for people with Stroke and other Brain Injuries to help improve their condition and ultimately their quality of life.

 

Having previously been involved in business for many years, meeting Katherine was an “eye opening “ experience, to see how the use of Arts and Creative Expression, can have a positive affect on people’s lives. My role is to support looking at initiatives to develop the business and new opportunities. Outside of work I love engaging with people to improve their situations. I also take an active involvement in Sports. This is despite having suffered a Stroke 12 years ago myself. With the help and engagement from Banyan Arts it has improved my life immensely.

Our Mission, Our Values

Banyan Arts believes creative arts experiences help support health and well being for all through different and sometimes difficult stages of life. We aim to create empowering, nurturing, inclusive workshops, programmes and opportunities to encourage self-expression, creativity, shared experience and a sense of belonging for all.

Our Vision

We are dedicated to ensuring anyone who would benefit from more creativity in their life has access to enabling opportunities.  We believe our creative workshops help people to share stories and experiences, reducing isolation, building support and connections, fostering understanding and creating awareness.  Banyan Arts operates on the premise that no-one is ever too old to play, learn something new or discover and share new talents and the arts offer unlimited pathways to empowerment to individuals in a wide range of challenging circumstances.

Working in Partnership

We believe strongly in creating positive partnerships as a mechanism to achieve greater impact and to extend our reach within the community.   We have successfully partnered with the Stroke Association and Stroke North East, Sunderland Hospital Stroke Unit, Living History North East, the Bangladeshi Centre Sunderland, Cambian Health Trust, Side by Side Arts, Gateshead Clubhouse and Gateshead Housing Company, in the latter work with young Syrian refugees. 

 

Banyan Arts currently runs Creative Expression Workshops with stroke survivors, their families and carers, young women experiencing mental health problems, intergenerational groups and BME communities. 

Website Design By Blue Dolphin Community Media.

Photography By Damien Wootten

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