Arts Lab 2016-



One in four of our country’s 12-25 year olds suffer from anxiety & depression. We have a generation of increasingly isolated, uninspired & disempowered young people. Equally desperate are the increasingly high numbers of arts graduates unable to find work that relates to their passion & utilises their skills.

Arts Lab connects these two groups – young peope with artists – for mutual benefit & fulfillment. We are an innovative & vital resource to transform lives so that people can fulfil their potential & fall in love with their purpose. In its infancy, we have been able to show how dynamic, experimental arts engagement inspires & motivates, boosts confidence & empowers. Young people are connected with opportunities to build & energise happier, more resilient communities. The project has also been successful in increasing numbers of fulfilled arts practitioners.

How & who for

Through art, we bring people together, improve health and wellbeing, inspire and motivate, increase confidence and empower. The world becomes a more connected and a happier place!

Targetting service users for young people, indviduals in the wider community and artists themselves, we run an evolving programme of workshops in the visual arts, exhibitions and events. We also offer mentoring for emerging artists, artist residencies and opportunities to create collaborative projects.


Arts Lab

A place for dynamic, experimental arts connecting artists, young people and the adventurous for happier, healthier and extraordinary lives

Go to the Arts Lab website further information –

Arts Lab is an artist-run studio in the heart of the Dartington estate in South Devon, operating as a resource for artists, young people and the wider community to promote and benefit from the visual arts.

Where is it

Studio 20 at Dartington Space Studios, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6EL

Our Mission

Our mission is to transform lives so they exceed their potential & fall in love with their purpose through dynamic, experimental arts engagement working alongside professional artists. We most especially want to reduce the numbers of young people suffering from anxiety and depression whilst also fostering development of high calibre visual arts practice and collaboration in the south west.


Our ethos embraces experimentation and play, individual expression and social and cultural diversity. We aspire to harnessing creative energies in ways that can most benefit young people, the wider community and the arts themselves.

Arts Lab is committed to the arts, their practice and how they link on a fundamental level to other disciplines and what it is to be human. In line with Dartington’s ethos, we see ourselves as an extension to the “progressive lab for living and learning” and believe that “creating art is central to the development of a good citizen.”* (*Black Mountain College of Fine Arts & Progressive Education).


Over 30 years working with people through my practice as an abstract painter, has taught me the power of art: not only does it help to make the world a more beautiful place, it is a great leveller, it brings people together to find their purpose and it gives us hope.

I set up Arts Lab in February 2016 as an artist-run studio for collaboration and teaching. Originally based at Aller Park, the former Dartington Hall School building, in September the same year, it moved to Studio 20 at Space, also on the estate. As director of Arts Lab, in August I was thrilled to be invited by Dartington Arts to work in partnership as part of their emerging arts strategy. (See Arts Lab blog for detailed developments from the start.)

What’s been said

“Everyone loved it!” Tim Wightman – Head of Creative Arts, KEVICC, Totnes

“Thank you for hosting, organising and inspiring the most fantastic session in your studio – everyone loved it including all of us!” Eve Hamilton MBE – Founder & CEO of Key4Life

“Beautiful artworks, lovely space. You are creating a wonderful concept here.” Visitor from the community

“Thank you to Sara for running the Art Enrichment Day for Kevicc students. It was a great opportunity for students to experiment with their own creative process in an artist studio space. All students had time to produce some excellent work and discuss their ideas on how to come up with imaginative outcomes.”  Ben Moon – Art tutor, KEVICC, Totnes

“A massive thank you to Arts Lab. It has been such a rich experience, transforming my life. I now have friends for the first time in years & have enough confidence & optimism to go out into the world.” Janie aged 19