“Ow Bist ?” : A Social Anthropological Field Report Evaluating the Approaches and Impact of a Creative Arts Project for Health and Wellbeing. By Kathryn Walker MA FRAI
An ethnographic field investigation was made looking at participants’ interaction within the Art Project entitled ‘Ow Bist’, designed by The Qube a charity in North Shropshire. The title ‘Ow Bist’ is a local dialect phrase meaning ‘How are you?’ which is reflecting the intentions of the programme as The Qube was established to serve the local community through offering community arts projects aiming to benefit health and wellbeing. Through participant observation conducted over six sessions with a variety of art projects explored the study shows evidence of the Ow Bist art project having a social impact and educational impact as well as exposing the impact upon participants well being.
The project has been found to be a good platform that is assisting with participants core issues of health and well-being enabling the reduction of social isolation and encouraging community coherence and cultural exploration. Group behaviour was seen to support social facilitation theory as stated by Zajonc (1965) where improvement in task performance occurred for participants when in the presence of others, gaining positive support and motivation with the task due to being in a social group.