Category Archives: Art Therapy

“All Divided Selves” – Luke Fowler’s film about RD Laing


Art of Psychiatry event: film screening of “All Divided Selves” followed by Q&A with director Luke Fowler, Prof Antony David and Dr Vaughan Bell
Date: Thursday 16 October
Time: 6-8:15pm (screening approx 6-7.30pm)
Venue: Wolfson lecture theatre Institute of Psychiatry

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Luke Fowler, in discussion with Professor Tony David and Dr Vaughan Bell from the Institute of Psychiatry.

All Divided Selves explores the life and legacy of the controversial Scottish psychiatrist, R D Laing (1927-1989). Laing famously argued that normality entailed adjusting to an alienating and depersonalizing world. Thus, those society labels as ‘mentally ill’ are in fact ‘hyper-sane’ travellers. The film concentrates on Laing and his colleagues as they tried to acknowledge the importance of social environment and disturbed interactions within institutions in the aetiology of human distress and suffering. Using a collage of archival material the film portrays the vacillating responses to Laing’s radical views and the less forgiving responses to his latter career shift; from eminent psychiatrist to enterprising celebrity.

This is an open meeting – all are welcome (including psychiatry trainees, service users, IoP staff, and members of public).
Wine and snacks provided. Look forward to seeing you there!
About Luke Fowler and RD Laing:
Luke Fowler: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Fowler
RD Laing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._D._Laing
All Divided Selves: http://www.lux.org.uk/whats-on/events/all-divided-selves-luke-fowler

Further information:
http://www.artofpsychiatry.co.uk
@artofpsychiatry

The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious at CGP London


Nick Blinko

‘The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious’ is a group show of the work of seven Outside In artists all living within Greater London and working on the theme of the subconscious. Predominantly black and white in colour and using drawing as the primary medium, the works were selected from 154 submissions to Outside In’s open call out earlier in the year.

The selectors included CGP London Director Ron Henocq; Vivienne Roberts, Curator at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery; Outsider Artist Nick Blinko; and Outside In Manager Jennifer Gilbert. From these seven artists, one will be selected by Vivienne Roberts to receive a solo show at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery in Central London in November 2014. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events, talks and workshops organised by Outside In and its London partner organisations.

Work by the Outside In artists will sit alongside Outsider Artist Nick Blinko’s minutely detailed monochrome pieces. Macabre and intense; Nick’s images depict microscopically detailed interconnecting worlds and figures such as skulls, broken dolls, imps, foetuses and precisely handwritten notes. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events, talks and workshops organised by Outside In’s partners.

The artists exhibiting are:
Jan Arden
Wrestling with the Bull
From an early age, Jan liked to copy cartoons and comic book characters before moving on to still life and portraits in secondary school. For many years he studied mime, dance, singing and drama before coming back to drawing and painting in 2009. Jan likes to combine Celtic knot-work with African faces and South American Shamanistic Aztec priests, people, animals, symbols and shapes. He creates what he sees on the paper after moving the biro in dance like movements, eyes closed and reaching into the subconscious for inspiration and guidance.

Imma Maddox
Foot
Imma is predominantly a textile artist, as well as being a survivor of mental illness. Alongside her drawings such as ‘Foot’, Imma creates icons, which she has been painting for about fifteen years. For these, she uses traditional methods dating back to Roman times.

Nigel Kingsbury
Becky
Nigel’s fine, delicate portraits depict women as mystical goddesses attired in glamorous ball gowns, decadent outfits and floating dresses. Each picture is unique, sometimes drawn from memory, sometimes of those in close proximity, but always of women he likes and is inspired by. This fascination with the female form inspires Nigel to create drawings with a frequently mysterious and eerie quality, although his idolisation of the figure in such a rare and carefully observed manner is far removed from contemporary issues of gender stereotyping.

Hannah Swain
Putti
Hannah was diagnosed with Bipolar at the age of 50 after the death of her mother. She began creating her works during her time in hospital, producing images of angels that embodied her mother, keeping her memories alive.

Billy Weston
Billy Nut
At the age of 14, Billy had a brain haemorrhage which resulted in the loss of his drawing right hand. He never regained the use of his right side, but relearned his natural artistic talent through his left hand. Since then, Billy has carried notebooks with him, drawing and painting life as it goes through his head.

Pat Mear
Feeling Water
Pat has specialised in fine art painting as a result of attending Croydon College of Art in the 1960s-70s but has since moved away from original hard-edged brainwork towards more intuitive work. Her other works include fine line Indian ink animal drawings as well as an exploration of imaginary landscapes on cork; an environmentally renewable source.

Terence Wilde
Definitions of Normal
Terence studied printed textiles at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 1986 with a First Class Degree. Creativity is a visual language that helps convey a sense of history and the reality of the past for himself and other adult survivors. It offers respite through escape, and is key in his spiritual journey. He currently works as an art and textiles instructor within the Occupational Therapy department at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Venue:
CGP London – Southwark Park – London – SE16 2UA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7237 1230

Opening times:
Wed – Sun, 11am – 5pm

Transport information:
Southwark Park is approximately 9 minutes walk from Canada Water station on the Jubilee & London Overground lines. Buses 1, 47, 188, 199, 225, 381, 395, P12, C10.

Creativity and Social Support in Mental Health

Mental Spaghetti has been cited as a reference in Roberta McDonnell’s new book, ‘Creativity and Social Support in Mental Health‘.

Roberta says, “Hopefully my new book will add to the voices trying to promote positive mental health recovery and a better deal for service users. A short summary of the findings and recommendations in a free e-book will be available soon and I will be happy to forward to anyone interested. Here’s a link in the meantime to the blurb and contents.”

If you’d like to get a link for the e-book, leave a comment and I will forward your interest to Roberta.

Anxiety Arts Festival 2014

Barbican, South London Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Freud Museum, Wigmore Hall, Dulwich Picture Gallery…
Visual art, music, dance, theatre and film

“Anxiety Arts Festival 2014 is a London-wide festival that explores the way anxiety and art interact.

From the sense of unease created by a Hitchcock film, to new commissions in music by Jocelyn Pook and art by Bonnie Camplin, leading artists explore their own anxieties and chronicle the neurosis of modern life – offering us insights into our own anxieties.

The correlation between creativity and mental illness is well documented, and the rapid social, cultural and political changes of the last century mean that anxiety is one of today’s most prevalent mental disorders. While this central aspect of our contemporary condition is reflected in the arts, this is the first time the link has been explored in detail by bringing artists together with leading mental health professionals and academics. Curated by the Mental Health Foundation, the Anxiety Arts festival questions our definitions of normality and acknowledges the creative power of anxiety through music, film, art, dance and theatre.

The Anxiety film season sees screenings at the Barbican and the Picturehouse cinemas, the National Portrait Gallery and the ICA, ranging from classic tension-builders – such as Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Lodger’ and Andre Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’ – to recent explorations of the psyche. The season gives a brief story of anxiety in cinema, revealing the roles that have given character to our anxieties, such as the hysterical housewife and the melancholy migrant. Throughout, psychologists are brought together with cinema experts and performers to get to grips with what cinema can reveal about anxiety. Rare screenings – such as Peter Robinson’s documentary about RD Laing’s radical Archway community, Asylum – will screen alongside new work looking at modern issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxieties around issues of race and home.

The Visual Arts programme explores the flexible and often contested boundaries between sanity and insanity, as well as the social and cultural anxieties associated with social labels. New commissions exhibitions, performances, residencies and artists’ films, at South London Gallery, Gasworks and BFI reflect on what is considered ‘normal’ and the associated pressure of fitting one’s subjective experiences within this frame.”

The full programme for Anxiety Arts 2014 is launched today, check it out at www.anxiety2014.org.

Bedford Happy!

A mental health related arts project! In Bedford! Where I’m from! Ticking all the boxes here, press release below, read on folks…

Is Bedford the unhappiest place in Great Britain? The national press may think so, but Bedford Creative Arts think differently.

Bedford Happy is a project commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts. Kent artist Dan Thompson will be looking at the town, and working with local groups to find out where people are happiest – and what it is that gives them a happy buzz. A day-long artwork event will be produced celebrating Bedford’s happiness on Saturday 29th March. There will be a trail of interventions to make people a little bit happier, some special markers of happy memories and a celebration of the shops and cafes that are making people happy. “Bedford is an interesting place, full of quirky stories and interesting places, Bedford Happy is a great opportunity to explore what makes such an interesting town tick,” says Dan.

Dawn Giles, Chief Executive of BCA commented, “We’re delighted to have commissioned ‘placeshaker’ Dan to create art with the people of Bedford. We’ll be creating something special; a day of happiness, a game played across the town centre’s underused spaces that will celebrate the people of our town’s hidden talents and interests.”

Artist/activist Dan Thompson has won an accolade of awards most commonly known for instigating the cleanup of the 2011 Brixton riots. Visit Dan’s website http://www.mrdanthompson.wordpress.com/ to find out more information.

Follow #bedfordhappy on Twitter, Like the Bedford Happy Facebook page or visit Bedford Creative Arts website at http://www.bedfordcreativearts.org.uk

Bedford Happy
Final Event Day 29th March 2014, Bedford Town Centre

Press Contact:
Jo Hudson-Lett – Mobile: 07974 331029 / jo.hudson-lett@hotmail.co.uk

Madge Gill Panel Discussion

Art from the Margins has notified me that a panel discussion on the life of Madge Gill has been uploaded to youtube.

From AFTM:
“Chaired By David O Flynn from Bethlem Hospital, and featuring Roger Cardinal, the coiner of the term Outsider Art, as well as Vivienne Roberts who researched into the mediumistic side of art for the retrospective. Reflecting on her work is the main focus of the discussion, as well as Outsider Art more broadly.”

Madge Gill: Medium and Visionary

AN EXHIBITION FROM ART AND SOUL, RICHMOND

‘Celebrating emotional and mental wellbeing through the arts.’

5 October 2013 – 26 January 2014

“With no training and no aspirations to fame, Madge Gill (1882 – 1961) produced thousands of secretive ink drawings during her lifetime. Her work remains an enigma: is it true she was inspired by an ethereal spirit guide? Was she genuinely in touch with ‘the beyond’, or was art-making a form of self therapy?”

View the Art and Soul blog