Manchester art gallery to host art therapy sessions for new mums in lockdown

  • Manchester Art Gallery to put on Becoming a Mum Therapy sessions 
  • Sessions are aimed at women who have become new mums during lockdown
  • The sessions will be hosted by art therapist Sarah Harrison-Greaves

Manchester Art Gallery is to host art therapy sessions for women who became new mums during lockdown and are suffering the mental health effects of it.

The sessions, called Becoming a Mum, will be ran over Zoom and focus on elements of self-care as well as the painting and drawing.

The first of these sessions will start on 14 January and  run weekly until 18 March and will be ran by art psychotherapist Sarah Harrison-Greaves.

The sessions are funded by the People’s Postcode Trust as well as, Psychotherapy Manchester, Groundwork and Comic Relief.  

Sarah has been an art-therapist for a number of years and has previously had an exhibition, The Other in Mother, commissioned at the Arc centre in Stockport in 2018.

The premise behind that exhibition was to “seek out the theory of what happens to women during the transition into motherhood and the shift in identities”.  

She said: “Manchester Art Gallery who were really keen on me doing the sessions and I managed to get funding from Comic Relief through the People’s Postcode.

“We originally planned on having them in the studio, so they were always going to happen but with Covid, it made the sessions more necessary and vital because so many women would be coping alone.”

The British Association of Art Therapists has art-therapy down as “a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication.”  

Sarah added: “It can be quite tricky, because societally we have a very rosy view of motherhood, a narrative that you should be blessed and happy, but that’s not all you can feel… feel loss of your old self, the intensity of new responsibilities.”

“What a lot of mums don’t have is the normalising of these feelings because they can’t access all those groups. We are attempting with the art therapy to normalise some of the experiences that they will have.”