Somerset Arts

About The Arts

Throughout time from cave dwellers to contemporary video games culture, the term “the arts” is a phrase that is bandied around as a catch all for almost all kinds of creative endeavour that are ultimately designed for human pleasure.

Art in all its forms, expresses mankind’s creative instincts and reflect his cultural surroundings.

Broadly speaking, it embraces 3 different generic forms:



Ever since man began making symbols carved in stone or etched on papyrus, he has used the written word to tell stories, compose songs, craft poetry etc.

The word “literature” is derived from a Latin word called littera or a single character. And literature itself is familiarity with letters and the composition of letters into words, sentences, paragraphs, chapter, books and so on.

Literature is classified in many ways including fiction (made up stories) and non-fiction (factual stories), poetry, prose and drama including film scripts and plays.

Literary forms include books, newspapers, magazines, posters, comics, e-books, screen and live action plays across many genre including story telling, myths, epics, poetry and legends and its value to culture and society cannot be underestimated.

The most famous literary figures include: William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Emily Dickenson, William Wordsworth, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, DH Lawrence, TS Eliot and in more recent times George Orwell, and Ian Fleming.


As the description suggests, performing arts are created by people called performers.

Performers can be singers, comedians, actors, dancers, magicians who will often wear special costumes for their performances, have make up applied to their faces, use props and special effects as part of their act.

Poetry recitals, storytelling, comedy, dancing, acrobatics, juggling, performing magic tricks and theatre are just a few forms of performing art.

A second category of performing art is music. This is a longstanding art form which uses a combination of different sounds played on different musical instruments and instrumental ensembles eg piano, orchestra, bands


Music comprises harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo and pitch. Cultural aspects directly influence musical compositions which can be formal written scores or impromptu performances.

Music has many forms and genres including classical, popular, jazz, folk, operatic and ceremonial.


Theatre is about performers appearing “live” in front of a large number of people called an audience. Different types of production include: plays, musicals, operas, ballet and stand up comedy.

Performers use the spoken word, dance, use gestures, music to entertain by telling stories, jokes, singing and/or dancing as well.


Dancing is a form of what is referred to as non verbal communication based on the moving human form. This movement can comprise, shapes made with parts of the body, locomotion across a performing space using steps, skipping and jumping.

A dance is choreographed or planned and rehearsed in advance in order to deliver a good rendition or performance.

Many different cultural, artistic, social and creative influences impact on the form of dance and among the many forms are : ballet, musical, folk, disco, acrobatic and athletic.


A great many arts programmes rely on funding for their creation and sustainability.


Visual arts as the name suggests, are activities designed to provide a visual stimulus for human appreciation, wonder, intrigue and enjoyment.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have expressed themselves using visual imagery from cave paintings to the very latest internet videos.


Drawing is about creating recognisable shapes letters or images. It involves the use of any number of different tools or implements including fingers, pens, pencils, charcoal, crayons, chalk, spray paint to make the markings.

In the last 15 years, digital version of these tools have also become commonplace. The markings include straight and curved lines, fill colours, shading, highlights, shadows etc. Drawing is used to create illustrations, schematic diagrams, cartoons, pictures, animations and portraits.


Like drawing, painting involves creating shape and form. However painting involves the application of pigments in a liquid solution or paint as it is commonly referred to.

Paint is applied to many different surfaces and substrates including wood, masonry, canvas, paper and metal. Pictorial and portraiture is a common for of creative expression with painting to convey activity, features, emotion and décor.


Photography is similar to painting in some ways in that it captures imagery on celluloid film or as a digital electronic file. Many different forms of photography exist including artistic, journalistic or commercial.

Expression can capture real life events, staged compositions and geographical panoramic views in still life format.

Film & Videography

One could say that capturing the moving image is very similar to photography but the output is more dynamic involving as it does live action.

The type of inventive video production Manchester artisans are renowned for involves all the creative aspects of photography including, lighting, film work etc, but with an added dimension of post production sound and film or digital video editing. Video productions are commonplace in television, on the internet, in presentations, on news reports and in video games.


Derived from the Greek word arkhitekton which means director of building works, architecture is the classic combination of science and art used to design landscapes, structures and buildings.

Anything structural that impacts on the human living condition is affected by what an architect does whether it is designing an open space like a park, urban town planning or street furniture.

BBC Arts Website

Using Art to Aid Recovery from an Eating Disorder

What most people do not realise is that the arts are not just for cultural expression, visual and audible pleasure or intellectual stimulation. Indeed, medical professionals have been using art therapy to treat all manner of psychological illnesses. In this article we concentrate on one of the most powerful therapeutic effects of the arts using them to aid the recovery of eating disorder sufferers.

The utilisation of art in psychotherapy relies on the application of various forms of expressive communications. Art therapy relies on the creation of art within a regulated professional environment by people that are suffering from illness, trauma or who have relationship difficulties in their everyday lives. A range of different art therapies may be applied to patients with learning difficulties or those with a range of mental health issues.

This is a relative new approach to therapy which began in the middle of the twentieth century and originated in Europe and English speaking countries with psychotherapy, the application of art and artistic education. Art therapies are centred on those disciplines which are at the core of human expression and development principally aligned to the visual arts. These include painting, drawing, sculpture and other forms of artistic expression with psychology and personal counselling. People use art therapy as a creative process conceiving, innovating and reflecting their thoughts, attitudes and feelings. In turn this helps them to improve the way they cope with life, increase self awareness derive pleasure from the creation of art and improve their cognition. Fundamentally, art therapy is a healing process that can be applied to people with a wide range of psychological illnesses.

A typical session involving art therapy would be quite different from a traditional art class. The focus in art therapy is on the person’s inner being and the emphasis on the creation of images that reflect what is happening within the individual. In normal circumstances, professional therapists guide patients in the creation of artistic outputs such as drawings, paintings, sculptures and the like which depict thoughts, feelings and reflect the “inner story” of that person.

Lots of eating disorder sufferers find that expressing themselves using painting, dance, film, music and theatre a very useful aid in their recovery process. This is because it is often quite difficult to express our deep inner most feelings. Such feelings can often be released, acknowledged and shared using artistic therapy. Eating disorder sufferers find that such expression provides a “window” into the inner most feelings of their heart and soul.

Eating Disorder Help

eating disorder help lancashire

Also referred to as creative art therapy, a multi-mode approach is applied to a wide range of eating disorder conditions including: binge

eating, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). A creative art therapist will engage with patients in various sessions that utilise music, drama, filmmaking, art, writing and storytelling to address social, cognitive, emotional and physical needs. This kind of eating disorder help Lancashire therapists Breathe employ, can improve their quality of life, promote healing and long lasting recovery.

Art therapy is exceptionally good for addressing body image, self esteem and eating disorder issues like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.. This is because when patients use talking to convey their thoughts and feelings, there is a large “gap” between those thoughts and feelings. But because art therapy relies on using our “creative” right brain and use art, drama and dance, patients are able to properly express their feelings rather than trying to explain them verbally. This provides a safer way to explore those feelings and the ways they can be managed.

One fairly common trait among eating disorder sufferers, is a striving for control or perfection. When a person cannot control their circumstances or try to please others with their perception of beauty, then the desire for unreachable control or physical beauty can drive disordered eating.

However, as the prime focus of art therapy is in creation, the objective for a patient is to appreciate who they are and how they feel in the moment, then explore the reasons behind the way they behave, then in turn establish new personal norms for their ongoing remedied behaviour. There is no “right or wrong” in art therapy just a process of self realisation and self healing.