Skyler Ridewood (He/Him)
I am a qualitative researcher working with communities using creativity and design to support them in addressing their problems. I currently work across various 3rd sector organisations in Scotland, researching, facilitating, and managing multiple creative and social projects. I am passionate about creating insights around services with those that they concern. This drive towards empowered action over the world that we inhabit lies at the heart of my participatory research and design practice. By specialising in facilitating explorative sessions, participants empower themselves to consider various problems within a context and then ideate outcomes to address them. I am at the start of what I hope is a long career in human research for design. Please get in touch with me if any opportunities arise that I can support you with. I am always eager to participate or collaborate in unique and exciting work, particularly if it has a social leaning within 3rd sector and related organisations.
Online Arts Groups for Wellbeing-Structuring freedom to reinvent ourselves together.
This research directly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact by exploring how in-person arts groups for wellbeing can be created as an online shared experience for participants. The project tried to overcome the social distancing of the pandemic that suppressed wellbeing and mental health through isolation and its effects. It took a participatory action research approach, which involved working with various participants and practitioners. Participants took part in a series of Workshops developed as a prototype of an online arts group, used to garner insights. After analysis, preliminary findings were presented to expert practitioners to evaluate. I iterated the findings once more during the second round of analysis. By exploring the setting together, we aimed to develop a holistic understanding of the online arts group and co-define practices in the online arts group that can support wellbeing with participants and practitioners.
Thematic analysis of the workshop discussions formed two themes that answer, what are experiences of supported wellbeing like in the online arts group. These themes are structured freedom, an overarching quality of online arts groups that give participants cohesion yet individual liberties, and; reinventing ourselves together, which described the process of an individual’s positive change within the online arts group. To answer, what practices and resources could support the delivery of an online arts group for wellbeing? We created the ways of being with participants and practitioners. They describe the subjective practices used to support wellbeing in this context.
The research’s value is within its exploration. The findings offer guidance to practitioners within the complex context of online arts groups, not rules that apply to all contexts and participants, as the research provides just one set of possible findings.