An artist’s collective at the top of Granville Street? Sounds a little unlikely? Think again. Creative Start is the brainchild of Sam Delaney who founded the group as an Arts In Health project, helping people in recovery from alcohol and substance dependency to find self confidence and a medium of self expression through painting. In the past three years he’s seen the organisation grow from small beginnings into a thriving community interest company with premises in the industrial units at the junction of Granville and Ladysmith Road and a nice line in badges, t-shirts and of course murals.

The Creative Start group of artists specialise in pop art, using bright colours and the iconography of the music and movie industries to create works that are both striking and familiar – and which would look great on anybody’s wall.


Sam isn’t big on the phrase of art therapy. He thinks the name itself may be counter productive. “There’s a lot of stigma attached to mental health and dependency issues” he explains. “What Creative Start tries to do is to provide a basic training to allow people to express themselves through art. It’s the start of the process of feeling better about one’s self and eventually making a recovery. Through art people can learn to take responsibility for themselves and move on.


We use art to help people engage with their community and our vision is to help members create works of art that can be exhibited locally, helping to rebuild confidence and self esteem. We encourage our members’ creative ideas and aim to provide the materials to help them come to fruition. At present the most popular medium is acrylic on canvas. We promote new ideas, collaborations and all forms of creativity in order to provide activities and art that suits everyone. We aim to produce works of art that show quality and emotion.”


He’s keen to stress however that the group is not just open to those in recovery. Anyone who has an interest in learning basic art skills is very welcome, regardless of their level of experience. For more information get in touch with Creative Start through or via Facebook and in the meantime we’ll keep you posted on the progress of the Graham Chapman mural wall.

This feature if taken from The Peoples Issue 35

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