Art workshops exploring masculinity to take place at The Hold

Ben Driver leaning up a against some art at the Hold in Ipswich

Ben Driver, director of Guy Cry Club is working with the Hold and Suffolk Archives to deliver Creating Masculinity workshops - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A director of a local community interest company has set up art workshops for members of the public to engage with ideas around masculinity.  

Ben Driver, director of Guy Cry Club – a CIC merging art, masculinity and mental health – has set up Creating Masculinity workshops hoping to delve into societal views of what it is to be a man. 

Working with Suffolk Archives and the Hold, the 30-year-old has created three workshops across two days starting November 6 which will encourage conversation and creativity around the idea of masculinity.  

Ben explained that the Creating Masculinity workshops are part of his wider work under Guy Cry Club to breakdown old-fashioned views of how men should act.  

He said: “Historically there are so many different ideas about masculinity and they’re all negative. We hold onto a lot of those even now, even though masculinity in my eyes has evolved so much.  

Ben Driver standing at the Hold with a backdrop of art behind him

Ben hopes the workshops will start conversations around masculinity and mental health in men - Credit: Charlotte Bond

“But there are still certain things which people think are toxic and there are issues with masculinity and what it is to be a man which still need to be tackled in society today. And we just want to encourage a more creative dialogue on masculinity and mental health,” he added. 

Ben went on to say that attendees of the workshops will look at these historic representations through Suffolk Archives and will then create collage artwork centring around manhood today.  

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He added that he hopes his workshops will allow attendees to start those conversations about masculinity and mental health something that he says needs to be the focus. 

“For men specifically male suicide is really high and I feel we’re getting to a place where we know that a lot of men take their own lives, but we’re still not really doing enough to combat that and that needs to be the focus of our conversations and the work that we’re doing.”  

The first of the workshops are for men only, including those that identify as male. The second session is open to anyone and the third is focused on teenagers. 

Each workshop is free and will take place at the Hold. 

Creating Masculinity poster

The Creating Masculinity workshops will take place at the Hold on November 6 to November 7 - Credit: Ben Driver

For more information about Creating Masculinity workshops or Guy Cry Club see here.    

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