Rose Derrick has had a passion for art since childhood and remembers that, even as a little child, she always wanted to draw and paint. This creativity has found expression in Rose’s own artistic work, and in her ministry as an art teacher within schools and beyond. Wherever she has been throughout her life, Rose has sought space and time, not just for her own creative expression, but for encouraging and enabling it in others. She says time and space for just being and for discovering one’s own creative self are important.
Her imagination and creativity have seen Rose seek out those people living in supported accommodation, and other places, for whom life has offered extra challenge. Each week, Rose takes her bag of art supplies and sets up a space that is safe and welcoming for all who come. Gentle music plays in the background as people gather around the big table for “a bit of a yarn” before picking up pen, pencil, paintbrush or charcoal and putting them to paper. Sometimes it is just a series of scribbly lines, other times it is something much more splendid. It doesn’t matter what it is though, says Rose, because it is theirs and each person is expressing something of themselves in ways they haven’t had a chance to do before. For some “it is a lovely revelation of their own gifts” and all are proud when the pieces are hung and displayed around the room. The doing and sharing of the art brings enjoyment, confidence and friendship. It moves each person into a space beyond the ordinary, where something new happens.
For Rose, sharing her creativity in this way is ministry and in it, she finds life for herself, too. She speaks with great warmth about those in her art classes and seems most pleased that they find joy in their own creations. And for Rose, whilst she is not necessarily thinking about God in the doing and sharing of her art, God is always there in the creativity and connections, and in the hearts and the hands.
“We are created to be creators.”