I have been a member of the Poole and East Dorset Art Society (PEDAS) since the early 90's and produced the bi-monthly newsletter for some of those years. I exhibit regularly at the PEDAS exhibitions and at various other venues from time to time.

For a few years, until 2013, I was a director with TAP (The Arts Poole) - a Community Interest Company founded by Mark Howell. TAP created a vibrant movement which brought together local artists from all genres, to network and collaboratively promote the Arts in Poole and surrounding areas. It still continues as a Facebook group.

Inspired by TAP, I founded a monthly music-jamming experience, called Freeplay (Chill) in 2009, I received an UnLtd Award to develop this as a voluntary enterprise. This led to other projects such as Freeplay Events and Freeplay Creative well-being support for carers. The Freeplay vision is to "foster individual well-being through creative community experiences": www.freeplay.1me.net

I worked within a local authority for nearly 30 years, until March 2011, facilitating art, music, creative writing and other groups for people using the mental health and learning disability services. This included working with the Mental Health Team and Primary Care NHS Trust, using CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to promote well-being and preventative support for people with anxiety, depression and common mental health issues. I was also involved in some collaborative work with the Arts Development Unit, the Study Gallery of Modern Art (known as KUBE and now sadly no longer an Art facility!) and Andy Baker (The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra).

As an artist, I enjoy using acrylic and mixed media, pastels, charcoal, wax resist, ink and a variety of pencils. I like taking photographs, making videos, writing Haiku (a form of Japanese poetry) and poems, using my drawings and sketchbooks to inspire and motivate me.

I also love music - playing on my own and with other musicians. I find it very therapeutic to write my own songs, inspired by life experiences, including Dorset's inspiring coastlines; I was fortunate to have the opportunity to produce a CD album in 2011 called "Coastlines Calling".

I am the author of an Art Activity Manual, commissioned by Speechmark, which was published and launched in 2004 ( www.speechmark.net ). I have recently written and illustrated a children's book on climate change called "Planet Earth Needs our Help". This has become my latest not-for-profit project, to promote the "well-being" of our planet and its inhabitants! I am currently self-publishing and promoting this book to help raise awareness of climate change issues in creative and helpful ways. Poole Library have asked me to present a children's activity around this book in the Autumn 2016 and have purchased some books for the libraries.

You can view an online version of my children's book and obtain a hard copy (that can be used to follow the video story) for a donation of £5 plus P&P (to go towards printing further books, to donate to schools and education centres). You can also download creative, activity sheets and notes (free) via my website. www.freeplay.1me.net - Please help spread the message "Planet Earth Needs Our Help" whilst sharing a love for reading, story telling and creativity!
© Marylyn Cropley (Click to enlarge an image)
Poole & East Dorset Art Society
Marylyn Cropley
Marylyn's website
www.freeplay.1me.net