News Release #WhenWePaused…

In 2020 we paused…individually, collectively and globally.

27 April 2020, London UK.

#WhenWePaused…, launched on the 22nd April 2020, is a collaborative, online exhibition exploring where we find solace and meaning as we negotiate the global Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The event is organised by Collective Arts, a not-for-profit arts and wellbeing organisation based in Twickenham, South West London.

Inclusive and open to all ages, this virtual exhibition is more about considering what matters than producing ‘great art’. A photograph of a stone collected during a special moment, a lovingly created painting or a line of poetry that lifts your spirits are all valid responses to this exhibition’s brief.

“Identifying where we find meaning or solace is one of those important questions we forget to ask ourselves,” says Julia Ruppert, founder of Collective Arts. “The answer isn’t always quick or easy, and sometimes the real benefit comes from exploring the question.”

As we collectively move through lockdown and other impacts of the Covid19 pandemic, the underlying premise of #WhenWePaused…is that connecting with what matters or provides solace can enhance resilience and help defuse negative emotions.

“With this exhibition, we’re interested in helping people create positive visual triggers,” adds Ruppert, a positive psychology specialist and art therapist. “We can all do this by finding meaningful themes and linking them to something external or visual, such as walking the dog, marvelling at the night sky or making art with your family.”

Connecting meaning or solace with a visual trigger, cues a positive emotional response through association. The positive meanings of these associations are re-enforced each time we see them.

“By identifying and surrounding ourselves with meaningful visual cues,” continues Ruppert, “we can recharge our wellbeing and enable positive growth.” She adds, “as one of the exhibition’s contributors eloquently stated ‘When we pause, we don’t simply stop, but we transform.’”.

Meaning is unique, so there are no right or wrong answers to the exhibition’s brief. However, as part of the exhibition concept, contributors are asked to include a description of ‘why their image mattered’. This exercise will help clarify the meaning, humour or joy of the image for viewers, and may provide contributors with an added opportunity for reflection.

#WhenWePaused… launched on 22nd April. Join in by visiting to upload your work and watch the process unfold.

CONTACT: Julia Ruppert

Collective Arts

07711 938 921


The impact of the arts on the well-being of young people


The Arts, Health and Wellbeing,  is a recent report by the Cultural Learning Alliance and Place2B addressing youth mental health and the impact of the arts. The short report is certainly worth the read, but a few key points are highlighted below:

Mental health:

  • Young people are twice as likely to report feeling depressed than their 1980 counterparts
  • Youth in the UK rank a worrying 14th out of 15 countries for well-being
  • The annual cost of metal ill health is between £11,030 and £59,130 per child

Prevention and the arts:

International wellbeing comparison

This just in from the London Art and Health Form’s news letter.

International wellbeing comparison

The Office for National Statistics has released a set of data comparing wellbeing levels in the UK with other countries. The data examines health, cultural participation and wellbeing and shows that while Britain is financially better off than before the economic downturn of 2008, overall life satisfaction has decreased.

The report measures changes in the economy and public reports of health and wellbeing over the period 2007-2014. In terms of health and wellbeing, the UK is performing at a similar level to countries like France but less well than Scandinavian countries. It is notable that in countries where income inequality has dropped over the period (such as Iceland) overall life satisfaction has increased. The UK saw relatively high levels of cultural participation over the period but relatively low levels of engagement in sport. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of people in the UK reported being in good or better health in 2013, higher than the international average of 68%–international-comparisons–2015/art-mnwb-international-comparisons–2015.html