Two sculptural clouds that have proved popular at a Beeston community day centre are urgently in need of a new home.

Due to a lack of space the future of two giant clouds, used as a creative tools to tackle mental health, is hanging in the balance.

The Under A Cloud? project, devised and led by local artist and writer Dave Wood, was  funded through the Mindset mental health charity, based at Middle Street Resource centre, thanks to a £2,300 grant from the Broxtowe Health Partnership.

Dave, along with centre users, spent three days in October putting together the clouds using willow and wire framework and papier mache layers.

People wrote down their thoughts on paper before placing them inside the 7ft by 3ft clouds to create the sculpture.

Paul Walsh, a trustee of the charity Mindset, explained that he was excited to take on the ‘Under A Cloud? project as it fitted in with the centre’s ethos.

Paul Walsh speaks about when he initially found out about the project 


MindSet seeks to run a variety of social and activity groups for the benefit of socially excluded people, drawn on the skills, experience and knowledge of socially excluded people themselves.

We aim to provide opportunities for people in Nottingham and the surrounding area and to improve their mental health through musical, creative and gardening activities.

“The hands-on nature of the project fuelled a great deal of discussion around some of the most private thoughts.

“The act of keeping and destroying thoughts via the clouds was very impactful,” said
Dave Wood, the project’s designer.

The two clouds have been designed to represent thoughts. One of them contains a shredder, which destroys unwanted thoughts, whilst the other hosts thoughts that the participants are happy to keep and share.

The infamous clouds that enabled participants to open up
The clouds that enabled participants to open up

Steve Plowright, who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, used his own poetry to write about his experience with electric shock therapy more than 40 years ago.

He felt that placing his poetry in the cloud helped him to offload some deep-seated feelings he had been avoiding.

Steve Plowright felt that he could name the doctor that gave him electric shock therapy because of the dark cloud 

Mr Wood is now appealing to someone local to take the clouds on. He is determined the sculptures should be used and shown off.

He said, the simple and effective idea, has helped visitors to the centre, who have come in feeling low, leaving on a high.