Health Rocks

Rocks & Minerals gallery, Floor G

Scientists believe doing five simple things a day can protect our mental wellbeing, just like eating five fruit and veg a day can protect our physical wellbeing. Our Health Rocks display and trail, developed in partnership with Start (the award-winning NHS arts-based service, part of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust) shows how the Museum and its collection could contribute to your five a day.

Eight people interested in wellbeing worked with us, looking at ways our collection of fossils and minerals could inspire creative artworks and wellbeing ideas. The participants went on a 12 week course made up of art workshops, curators' talks, visits to see and handle the Museum's fossils and minerals and mindfulness exercises (a technique that uses our senses to bring us into the present moment, which is proven to benefit wellbeing).

The resulting artworks can be seen in hand-made books on display next to objects from our fossils and minerals collection. The wellbeing trail, based on five objects from the Pre-historic and Rocks & Minerals galleries, takes you on a walking and thinking tour.

Visit The Manchester Museum's YouTube channel to see an interview with one of the Health Rocks participants.

Another outcome of the course were some Health Rocks sand animations. Participants were given sand (Quartz) as a material and used animation as a technique to portray activities they did to alleviate stress, relax and enjoy themselves. The theme for the session was ‘Change, transformation, adaption’ and people looked at mood and colour associations.

Also on the wellbeing theme, find out about the Integrated Inspiration poetry anthology and display at Manchester Royal Infirmary

Health Rocks and Integrated Inspiration are funded by Renaissance North West as part of the Who Cares? programme looking at the role of museums and galleries in improving health and wellbeing. The Manchester Museum is one of the six participating museums and galleries.

Download the wellbeing trail (PDF Document, 364 KB)

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