People encouraged to get crafty at home for origami exhibition at Bridgend’s field hospital

Arts display of crowd-sourced paper cranes will mark a year since lockdown

People across Wales are being encouraged to get crafty with paper to contribute to a new art display marking a year since the UK went into lockdown.

Community arts organisation Tanio is organising an exhibition at Ysbyty’r Seren field hospital in Bridgend featuring hundreds of origami cranes (or ‘Tsuru’) – considered a symbol of hope and healing in Japanese culture.

NHS staff, patients and volunteers are pitching in to make the origami creations. The charity is now asking people across Wales to get involved by creating paper cranes and sending them in to be featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition will open on 23rd March 2021, marking a year since the first COVID-19 lockdown began. It is being organised by Bridgend-based arts charity Tanio, which offers safe environments where people can develop new skills, confidence and self-esteem through art.

‘Tsuru’ paper cranes are simple to make, and there are a video tutorial and a simple bilingual how-to guide available online to help people venturing into the world of origami for the first time.

Tanio Chief Executive Lisa Davies says the challenge provides an opportunity for people to get crafty and enjoy a “moment of mindfulness”:

“Origami – or the ancient Japanese art of paper folding – is a type of art form and creative therapy rolled into one, has many proven benefits. It activates both the logical and creative hemispheres of your brain to boost intellectual capacity and encourage creativity. It is also incredibly relaxing and helps build attention, patience and focus. 

“This project started with NHS staff and patients at Ysbyty’r Seren but quickly grew from there, and we’re keen for as many people as possible to get involved by making their own cranes at home. All the cranes sent to us will feature in our beautiful and striking art display, where we’re aiming to feature over 400 cranes, and will be recorded for posterity in a film of the exhibition. 

“Making origami cranes is the ideal activity to do with children or elderly relatives, and a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a moment of calm at a time when we’re all facing challenges, whether they’re home, work or health-related. 

“We hope lots of people will take ten minutes out of their day to create their own ‘tsuru’ and we look forward to welcoming a flock of colourful cranes from across Wales and putting them on display at the field hospital to mark this milestone.”

Anyone keen to get involved with the exhibition can send their paper cranes to Tsuru @ Tanio, Sardis Media Centre, Heol Dewi Sant, Bettws, CF32 8SU by 20th March to ensure they can be featured in the exhibition.

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