Bristol Inside Out Arts: Peer-led Group for Creative Minds

This week’s blog comes from Bristol Inside Out Arts Group, a peer group set up in response to Bristol Wellbeing College’s ‘Poem Brut’ course, run by poet, publisher and STAR Group member Paul Hawkins.

The six week course invited learners to explore the unconventional side of Art and Poetry, celebrating the uncelebrated: our doodles, scribbles, scrawls, cut-outs and deletions. We find that in these lie our most powerful insights and ideas, and giving people the space to explore and rediscover these oft overlooked mediums of expression has helped unleash creative potentials people didn’t know they had. Many who completed the course asked how they might continue coming together to create each week; out of this was born Bristol Inside Out Arts Group.

The Bristol Inside Out Art Group here introduces some of its work in the form of Haikus, a topic delivered by Bristol Wellbeing College learner, Susan Elyzabeth Mateos:

I love everything about The Bristol  Inside Out Arts Group

A sense of camaraderie among those who were in Poem Brut.

The fact that we take turns hosting the group, so that  we can be playful, doing Klee & Miro, or serious, doing a collage on lockdown, or exploring Cubism.

One host was using meditation as part of our art work

Why was the introduction of Haiku so successful ?

I think it is because you can work with words in a more expressive and direct way, without the rules of language coming into play

Lovely Group, lovely people. 

Chery’s Haikus
Kate’s Haikus

The Wellbeing College’s Poem Brut course has now run three times and accumulated a phenomenal collection of artworks by learners. After two pandemic-imposed postponements, we are looking to launch our exhibition Poetry Without Words at the end of June, hosted by Boston Tea Party. Meanwhile, you can view the online Poem Brut: Poetry Without Words exhibition at

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