The Creative Odyssey is the CIC (Community Interest Company) that has developed from the idea that we all need something to work towards and to look forward to which will spread a bit of light and magic, a focus away from the challenges of life with the idea that using simple materials and making art together, celebrating art and nature, will benefit everyone’s mental health regardless of what life has thrown at them.
Creative Odyssey CIC Mission Statement
Creative Odyssey Projects are Arts related projects which aim to give support and create opportunities for artists to develop ideas, collaborate and present their work to diverse audiences. The projects bring creative communities together in various ways and share making skills through workshops with community groups with a commitment to presenting contemporary art in an accessible and professional way. Above all we aim to inspire and make positive impacts on artists and audiences.
We fundamentally believe in the power of the arts to create cohesive communities, impact positively on everyone’s mental wellbeing, health and happiness and are committed to sharing this vision with diverse groups of people.
We are based in Raveningham, rural South Norfolk, where we hold events and workshops throughout the year.
Artists will benefit by having a space to experiment and exhibit both non-commercial and commercial artwork to a large and diverse audience. Any profits will be used to engage artists and provide materials and facilitators to community and wellbeing groups. Contemporary arts will be brought to a rural area and made accessible to a diverse audience. Under l8s can access the Sculpture Trail for free.
If the company makes any surplus it will be used for Grants for Artists and donations to Children with Cancer UK.
Our main project is the Raveningham Sculpture Trail which happens annually in the summer at Raveningham. Check out the other projects supported by Creative Odyssey below.
– Glowing Roundhouse, Fern Spray. A project supported by Creative Odyssey, the Roundhouse will be displayed during the Lumiere and Sculpture Trail 2022.
– Art in Nature sessions for young unaccompanied asylum seekers in collaboration with Juventas
– Woodland Lumiere – Magical night time light, sound, art installation.
– Materials and projects for community artist group Magical Moths 2020/21/22.
– Outdoor shower installation for artists to use when installing exhibitions.
– Raveningham Sculpture Trail – showing and selling works by 65 artists to an audience of over 5,000 people.
– Poems from a Norfolk Farmhouse Album, Mal Cannell. More Info
– Kindlings, Kally Davidson. Donation towards UV reactive materials for research & development. More Info
– Micro-Kino for Sculpture Trail, Suzie Hanna. 50% cost of new projector and bespoke screen.
– Odyssey Community Pottery at Raveningham – kiln (kindly donated by Marion Catlin), pottery wheels (kindly donated by Norwich Fringe Festival and Rosalyn Proops), kiln installation costs, clay, glazes.
– Lantern Parade and Ship of Light fire sculpture. More Info
– Creative workshops at Raveningham, arts and wellbeing. More Info
Children with Cancer UK – Total donated so far = £11,500
£1,500 Raveningham Sculpture Trail + individual donations through artwork sales from Suzie Hanna, Gordon Senior and Ian Vance. 2020
£5,000 Creative Odyssey 2020
£5,000 Henry’s Odyssey 2018
The Creative Odyssey has come out of fundraising for Henry’s Odyssey which raised money for Children with Cancer UK and an adventure for 10 year old Henry after his lengthy treatment for Leukaemia.
Throughout hard times the strength and healing power of the arts have proved crucial to recovery, from the artwork hanging on the walls at Addenbrookes and Norfolk & Norwich hospitals, to the incredible response to #henrysodyssey in 2018 from local and international artists. We truly believe that #artwillsaveus in so many aspects of our lives, particularly when it involves wider communities.
Between November 2019 and Feb 2020 artists were invited to donate original A6 artworks in any medium for a fundraising exhibition at Mandell’s Gallery. The exhibition raised £6,500 of which we gave £5,000 to Children with Cancer UK towards their vital research into finding cures and improving treatments for all Childhood Cancers and £1,500 towards
Creative Odyssey Projects, a series of community arts projects designed to raise all our spirits and developed in response to 11 year old Henry Thomas’s journey through PTSD following 3 years of Leukaemia treatment.
Background to The Creative Odyssey
Sarah Cannell – Artist/Curator
My son Henry was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) on January 9th 2016 when he had just turned 7. Within 48 hours his whole life had been turned upside down and an ambulance ride to Addenbrookes confirmed his diagnosis with intensive chemotherapy treatment starting immediately. The first 6 months of treatment threw relentless physical and psychological challenges at Henry with hideous side effects from chemo and steroids which caused a lot of pain, weight gain, anger and restricted mobility. 3 years of ‘maintenance’ treatment for boys with ALL means 3 years of daily chemo, weekly antibiotics and blood tests, monthly check ups, 3 monthly chemo under anaesthetic and emergency stays in hospital if Hen’s temperature went over 38c, for this reason Henry had to be within 90 minutes drive of a UK hospital at any time for the duration of the 3 years to avoid sepsis and complications during treatment. Incredibly, and thankfully, Henry got through his treatment which ended in March 2019, he is officially in ‘remission’ and March 2024 will be ‘cured’. In 2018 whilst still on treatment we organised a fundraising exhibition of donated postcard sized artworks from artists for Children with Cancer UK and for a trip at the end of treatment for Henry. See the artworks donated and find out more at www.sarahcannell.com/henrys-odyssey
Wading through PTSD
This has been our life for such a long time it is normal for our family. What we didn’t see coming at the end of treatment was the massive psychological impact for all of us, particularly Henry, from taking multiple traumas in our stride. We were warned by hospital staff (doctors, nurses and psychologists) that people can have a ‘bit of a wobble’ at the end of treatment. For Henry this has meant severe separation anxiety and PTSD which has impacted his daily life in many ways including terrible nightmares, disturbed sleep, panic attacks, high anxiety and sickness phobia. Accessing help through school and NHS mental health provision has been gruelling and limited in it’s helpfulness. Whilst his school have tried to help with limited resources we have found overall psychological help has not been there in the way we have needed it. We have had to find our own way through an extremely difficult time and whilst we are still struggling we try to be positive and find creative solutions from wild swimming, hypnotherapy, reflexology, clay therapy, art therapy and many more approaches.