Reasons to Join Bancroft

The Bancroft Estate is in a parallel universe! Managed by Georgina McClure this is a place where creative people can take refuge and tone up their creative spirit. Aside from the Manor house where residents can claim a space or spend time with a character they are working with, the Bancroft Estate has a number of other building.  Perhaps you will claim a space in one of these or find something even more inspired.

Whether you want to throw some clay, write a novel or paint a masterpiece, tapping into your deepest creative urges is a powerful force. Perhaps you just need the time and space to let your inner artist out. You can reconnect with this part of you at Bancroft Manor, a sanctuary located deep in cyber space.

Bring along your inner artist, claim space and paint on the walls of Bancroft Manor! Image from the Red Tree by Shaun Tan

1. The creative self is our silent partner. It is always ready and willing to help us express ourselves. The lover of books who spends hours browsing in bookstores, the gardener who faithfully tills the soil and their plants, the enthusiast who loves nature, the baker, the candlestick maker and journal keeper are all ordinary people honouring this creative partnership. Bancroft Manor is a virtual manor house that has been established to provide creative people with mental space where they can connect with their silent partner, work, share their ideas and collaborate with other creative people. Bancroft Manor is managed by Georgina McClure (Heather Blakey) who has a proven record of building creative communities and of promoting the work of creative people.

2. Position yourself in the present moment! Consider the creative outlets you long to explore! How many people who follow you or are listed as friends on Facebook actually engage with you or support your creativity? Here at Bancroft Manor kindred spirits are more likely to engage and provide feedback about your work. You may choose to engage and work collaboratively with Heather Blakey to establish a joint project and, as a subscribed member, you are entitled to have a portfolio page that is all about YOUR work.

Art has the ability to inspire people and make them see things from a different perspective.

3. Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life… (Picasso). The Centre for Creative Health strives to improve the quality and experience of healthcare through the arts, design and other creative initiatives. At Bancroft Manor, the priority is to promote creative health and wellbeing. This virtual manor house provides a safe space for artists and writers to spend time daydreaming and share their creative endeavours

4. Art – no matter whether you choose to create it yourself or simply observe and enjoy it – is a relaxing and inspiring activity for many people. However, the particular benefits of artistic expression go much further than relaxation and enjoyment. Studies suggest that art therapy can be very valuable in treating issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias. It is a great way to express your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find relief. Coming to Bancroft Manor is a way of creating the time to make art.

Creativity is highly contagious!

5. At Developing Good Habits they explain just how hobbies benefit us. Twyla Tharp’s book, ‘Creative Habits’ extols the virtues of establishing creative habits.

Spending time doing an enjoyable activity that is not attached to work or other commitments will help increase your happiness and satisfaction with life. It will allow you to spend time doing something that is only for your own personal benefit, and not the benefit of others. Bring your hobby to Bancroft Manor and share the joy with kindred spirits.

6. We need to let ourselves just chill, to get away and to breathe different air, see different places, do things that are new and unfamiliar to get ourselves back into the stream of creativity and inspiration. Doing the same thing, day after day, does not facilitate this.

So even if you don’t have money to get away on an expensive vacation, set a day aside and do something different, completely unrelated to work.

Go to the beach, find a stand of trees to sit under, take a walk in nature, claim a room at Bancroft Manor and just allow yourself to recharge and reboot.

7. You need to bust out of the loop? It’s all those social media pics of people at far off and exotic destinations that feed the feeling that life could be better. You see the cliche photos of legs extended on a poolside lounger or on the beach towel along with colorful fruity frozen cocktails. After a few minutes of a well-deserved daydreaming mental break you snap back to reality and come to terms that there’s no way you can take an extended solo vacation to Bali. Solo breaks are good for your mental health. Know that while you may not be able to have an extended break away you could secure yourself a room at Bancroft Manor and have that much-needed break from the daily pressures of life.

8. “Sometimes I fantasise about throwing my suitcase into the car, taking off down the highway, sucking up that white line like spaghetti and running away from it all road-movie-style. Sometimes I am on my own escaping my current life and indulging the exquisite loneliness of solitary travel” writes Elly Varrenti.

Thelma and Louise were two of those movie-style characters who threw their suitcases in the car and ‘hit the road’ to get away from the men in their lives that were annoying them. This particular adventure turned out to be a bit dramatic! If you are not into quite so much drama you may be content to throw a few art supplies and inspiration in a bag and head to Bancroft Manor.

9. “When my grief was still too acute to feel, I went in search of a place to be alone – a refuge where I could hurt and heal, without hurting others. I was aimless and drifting when Sesimbra caught me in her nets and bought me to the shores” writes Kathy Wagner in ‘A Portuguese fishing village helped me journey from grief to toward hope’. Not everyone has the finances to travel and reach places like Sesimbra. Bancroft Manor offers refuge for those willing to slip through a special doorway and spend time here.

10. There is plenty of advice on the internet guiding you about how to be more creative. The bottom line is that if you want to be a writer you have to spend time writing. If you want to be creative you must create. How? Create anything. A mess. An emotion. A doodle. Anything. One thing these have in common is action. Another action you can take is to claim a room at Bancroft Manor. It can be your designated space to be creative and as a member of the Facebook group you will receive prompts that promote creative wellness.

11. “As we move through the modern, fast-paced world, many of us no longer have time to sit and listen to the tales of our contemporaries, let alone our elders. As storytelling evolves into new technological platforms it would perhaps be wise to remember the sanctity and purpose of the oral traditions”. Bancroft Manor provides a place where we can listen to the tales and ideas of contemporaries and elders.

12. When you decide to come to Bancroft Manor you can travel in style. You can take a magic carpet ride, use your armchair or climb up a ladder and enter through a cloud, Magic Faraway Tree style. Let your inner artist/child be playful and spend time visualising how you will be transported here.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

If you have a very active imagination Bancroft Manor is the place for you.

13. Coming to Bancroft Manor is like going on a luxury, all inclusive creative retreat at an exotic destination, less the cost and effort of reaching a suitable retreat. It is not a place for a holiday but it offers a space where you can commit to working. You can decide to spend a week in your ‘room’ or ‘studio’ and sink into the task you have been finding excuses not to complete. At Bancroft Manor you can check in and report on progress in the Facebook Group or directly to Heather Blakey (Georgina McClure).

14. Some residents at Bancroft have helped to create a visual impression of how they perceive this world. Your visualisation of this environment will almost certainly be very different too how these residents envisaged it.

How far would you go to save someone you care about?

How far would you run or fly or crawl to save somebody else?

How far would you go to save yourself?

Have you ever tried, was it worth it? Did it matter at all?

We all come from somewhere and I suppose in the end we all end up in the same place with the same question in our eyes and frozen on our lips. Read More

A Journey to Bancroft Begins

I’ve been lost in a vast desert, burnt by the sun, scratched by cactus and sagebrush, thirsty and exhausted. The days have blended together, and I know far too much time has passed, but I just don’t remember how to get back. I know I learned some important things long ago, things that gleamed like gold in a dark mine, but the memory of how to find those things has fled. I am bereft, lost and alone.

Now, a path appears out of nowhere, and somehow it seems familiar. I follow it, and the desert begins to fade into the prairie, long and rolling, golden under the sun. The prairie leads to hills with green trees on them, and as I crest the top of the nearest one, I see forests and streams. Running now, I follow the path into the forest, and the cool shade caresses my burnt skin gently. I wade through a stream and the water soothes the scratches on my feet and legs. I feel my taut nerves start to unwind, and I take a deep breath of the clear air.

The path leads up to a gate, and I find I have a key. I slip inside to a garden, and a man-made of butterflies bows to me, gesturing to a large building I have not seen before, but recognize as my haven. I sigh with relief. I am safe. I am here. Source: SheWolf’s New Journey

15. I have found that creativity is highly contagious. It has qualities, not unlike infectious diseases! In group settings, the creative spirit spreads quickly! We are buoyed and guided, often subliminally by the work of other creative people. For example, as I listened to an audio presentation of First Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander Mcall Smith I was not only inspired to drink red tea and eat copious amounts of fruit cake but wandered down memory lane. I considered interviewing Mma ‘Precious’ Ramotswe.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
~ Albert Einstein

16. While the left brain sunders life into pieces, the right brain unites. People who have a healthy right brain can better use their left brain tools in positive ways.

Through the right brain we dwell in the space of no-time, in being absolutely present. While the left brain is more interested in outcomes or product, the right brain cares much more about process—the journey is what matters, not the destination. Source: The Right Brain Develops First – Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Bancroft Manor is a playground for the right brain.

FAQ about Bancroft Manor and how to join.