Recovery Art

Recovery Art at the Barber

What does the word recovery mean to you right now?

Our group considers ‘recovery’ to be a cathartic process: an ongoing personal journey which can mean different things to different people.

For the past eight years, Recovery Art has provided an invaluable space for those coping with their physical or mental health in our local community of Birmingham and the West Midlands. Our Recovery Art group members meet monthly to discuss the Barber’s collection and enjoy facilitated workshops that nurture creative expression and introduce different art processes. Our sessions are inspired by subjects, media and techniques found in the Barber’s collection, as well as by our members’ personal art practices, ideas and experiences of recovery.

Together we have sustained this community during the Coronavirus lockdowns and the Barber’s physical closure, coming together virtually to provide creative and social support for each other through this time. This has included physical resources that are posted out and regular online meetings. This exchange of conversation and creativity enables the group to discuss their artistic processes and inspirations and socialise too. We enjoy sharing what we have been making and feel inspired by listening and talking to one another.

Alongside the Barber’s Learning and Engagement team, Recovery Art is shaped by artist and creative facilitator Ruth Turnbull. Ruth oversees the themes for each month, working with the team to bring us together.

We would like to thank West Midlands Museum Development for awarding a Recovery Grant which allowed us to develop our online Recovery Art sessions from October 2020 to February 2021.

On this page you can view and explore artworks made by our Recovery Art members. We will be regularly updating the gallery with creative work.

As we support our group and navigate the reopening of the Barber’s physical spaces, we are not currently able to welcome new members to the Recovery Art programme.

For general enquiries or if you would like to know more about Recovery Art, you can contact us via email at

"Just to say thank you, and let you know how much the Recovery Art packs and the tasks and materials sent out help me. I look forward each month to receiving the pack and new tasks to produce art. It keeps me occupied for hours.”

Recovery Art member

See artworks by our Recovery Art members: