Category Archives: Mental Health

The Daily Life Ltd needs YOU!

Our friends and comrades in art and mental health, The Daily Life Ltd, led by Bobby Baker (not a man), have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for 3 new animations starring Dr Bobby, Roxy and Rudi. Together they will spread the word about their fantastic arts & mental health programme.

Can you help? Here follows a short broadcast from Dr Bobby…

And now some more information from the Daily Life Ltd. team…
Hello! Team Daily Life Ltd here – thanks for stopping by. We’re an arts organisation based in Stratford, East London. Our Artistic Director, Bobby Baker, is well known as an artist and as an ‘expert by experience’ of the mental health system. Our whole mission is to create powerful art that changes the way people think about mental health. We want as many people as possible to see surprising and beautiful work by artists with personal experience of mental health issues – and we need your help.

2e402f3aa24b1c505c628698b35c093d_large

About this project: who we are and what we do…


The Roxy and Rudi Roadshow Local Wellbeing Research Unit, Shuffle Festival (2013) Photograph: Hydar Dewachi

Having produced Bobby’s art for years, we are now beginning to present work by many more artists who have lived experience of mental distress. This year we’ve raised money to tour exciting work by a group of talented poets, performers, artists and musicians in East London.

Here are some of our amazing lineup:


Selina Thompson, Chewing the Fat (2014)


Laura Jane Dean, This Room (2015)


Simon Raven, Cool Party (2014)

We’ll also be presenting work by artists from the wonderful Outside In at Pallant House Gallery and Bethlem Gallery:

Bethlem Gallery website. Screenshot: February 2015


Outside In National, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (2012) Photograph: Jason Hedges

We’re touring to East London venues like the pioneering Bromley By Bow Centre, Kingsley Hall, Shuffle Festival, and Queen Mary University, London.
Plus we’re planning another stunning Lightbox installation this autumn, building on the success of exhibition in Dalston last year – but this time in Newham.


The Expert View, Lightbox installation, Dalston Square (2014) Photograph: Andrew Whittuck

What we want to do now – with your help
The art is all sorted, as you can see, but now we need to make sure people know about it – locally and online. We’re a minuscule company, so we’re asking for your support to pay for our creative collaborators (Kate Bland, Cast Iron Radio, Pete Baynton, Radish Pictures, Bobby Baker aka ‘Dr Bobby,’) to help develop three more ‘Promo Cartoons.’

Thanks to Pete, Kate and the rest of our collaborators working with Bobby, our tiny, terrific and talented Roxy and Rudi Marketing Team have already been on the road on their mission to SAVE HUMANITY! Check them out on YouTube. As well as promoting new work, the cartoons are also a way of recording our activities and sharing them with people far beyond our East London stomping ground – Roxy, Rudi and Dr Bobby are a multitasking team!

A bit of background information

For those of you who don’t know us yet, and why we have such a passion for the arts and mental health, here’s a word from our Artistic Director Bobby Baker, aka ‘Dr Bobby:’


Bobby Baker, How to Shop (1993) Photograph: Andrew Whittuck

“Hello! I’m an artist and the Artistic Director of Daily Life Ltd. We’re a small Arts Council funded arts organisation based in East London.

I’ve been an artist for 40 years or so, making lots of work about daily life, being a woman, bringing up children, power, that sort of thing …How to change the world, basically.
Between 1997-2008 I had a period of serious mental ill health. I made lots of work about this experience. I had all sorts of treatment – some of it good – and in the end I got better. I’m now proud to describe myself as an expert by experience of the mental health system, and I’ve been Tip Top up Top for a decade or more. But there’s a lot of ignorance, fear and prejudice about mental health out there. This affected me very badly and still does, as it does others. Mental health is a subject that provokes strong feelings – people can get shouty, or boring, or bored or even more confused.

So that’s where the art comes in!

We know that powerful art changes lives and transforms thinking. We want more people to see great work by many people – many more voices, many experiences. We’d love your support to make the The Roxy and Rudi Roadshow Cartoons, so we can promote our fantastic 2015 programme to a wider audience.”

-Thanks, Bobby!


Bobby Baker, Pull Yourself Together, Trafalgar Square, London (2000) Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Okay, folks, final word from team Mental Spaghetti – go help our buddies Bobby Baker and The Daily Life Ltd. raise what they need to animate their adventures! Thank you!

2e402f3aa24b1c505c628698b35c093d_large

Update from Bethlem Gallery

On the 19th of February, The Bethlem Gallery and Museum will open the doors to a new, state of the art building which will be home to the Bethlem Gallery, Bethlem Museum of the Mind and Bethlem archives.

Below is a summary of the first three exhibitions taking place in the building.

Bethlem Museum of the Mind’s Permanent Collection.

A selection of around 1,000 art works including works by former Bethlem patients such as Jonathan Martin, Richard Dadd and Louis Wain

Bryan Charnley: The Art of Schizophrenia

Bringing together works from the Bethlem collection and many rarely seen works from the Estate of Bryan Charnley, this exhibition looks back at Charnley’s life and work.

Where is the Work in a Work of Art?

What kind of work goes into making a work of art? This exhibition will reveal the processes, structures and systems behind the art of a diverse group of artists who are connected to the Bethlem Gallery. We’ll be asking how does identity play a role in the making and reception of an artwork and how are artists enabled to do what they do?

About Bethlem

Bethlem Royal Hospital was founded in 1247 and was the first institution in the UK to specialise in the care of the mentally ill. The hospital continues to provide in-patient care as part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and is a provider of mental health and substance misuse services for people locally and specialist services for people from across the U.K. For more information on our services please visit: www.slam.nhs.uk

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. This is the most commonly quoted statistic, and the one which has the most research evidence to support it – www.mind.org.uk

Around 300 people out of 1,000 will experience mental health problems every year in Britain 230 of these will visit a GP 102 of these will be diagnosed as having a mental health problem 24 of these will be referred to a specialist psychiatric service

6 will become inpatients in psychiatric hospitals.

For more information visit: bethlemgallery.com | bethlemmuseumofthemind.org.uk

The Craftimation Factory – Interactive Exhibition

Interactive Exhibition With Focus On Mental Health – By Hastings Based Artists

Frames Of Mind is an exhibition that is the culmination of a year-long project during which adults with lived experience of mental health and wellbeing issues made puppets, stop motion animation and an installation with the purpose of creating dialogue around mental health. The project was led by Hastings based charity The Craftimation Factory and features work by many local artists as well as work from those living in other parts of East Sussex.

The exhibition combines interactive elements including exploring the installation with a UV torch to find hidden messages and playing cassette tapes on a retro tape player, as well a life sized knitted puppet and photos from the former psychiatric hospital in Hellingly.

The exhibition launches at 12 noon 2nd December at Towner Gallery, Eastbourne where it will run for two weeks

After the launch there is a programme of activities including free workshops and a ‘Living Exhibit’ which will invite members of the public to listen to conversations and ask questions of people with lived experience of mental health issues.

www.thecraftimationfactory.org www.facebook.com/knittedanimationworkshops

“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.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY TO REDUCE STIGMA SURROUNDING MENTAL ILLNESS

When: 2.30 – 4.30pm on Saturday 29th March /Where: Friends Meeting House, St Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY.
Cost: £2 for a child, and £4 for an adult 
To get your tickets, email admin@borderlineart.co.uk or just turn up on the day!

There’s an expression “as mad as a March hare”, and so it seems appropriate that Borderline chose this month to present their fund-raising pop up cafe and art installation: “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.

Borderline Arts is set up to use the arts to challenge the stigma around mental illness.  They will be drawing on actors from their associated theatre group “The Raving Mad Theatre Company” to populate a lively Alice in Wonderland themed tea party which will serve tea and games to the public.

Sarah Eley, the woman behind Borderline Arts, who is herself a long term sufferer of borderline personality disorder, says, “What we aim to do through our work is show that just because a person has a mental health diagnosis it doesn’t mean that they are completely different to everyone else.  We want people to understand the ordinary beautiful everyday lives that are still lived by sufferers alongside their illness.  It is why we are a little irreverent about the whole idea of madness, we like to play with it to show that being around people who suffer mental illness doesn’t have to be serious, it can be easy to have fun.”

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party promises Flamingo Croquet with the Red Queen, a treasure hunt to find the Door Mouse, giant flowers and toadstools, a miniature house for an overgrown Alice,  Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum carnival cutlets as well as a craft table, Wonderland props and a photo booth.  Not to mention tea with the Mad Hatter,  the Red Queen, the White Rabbit and of course Alice herself.  It sounds like a tea party you wouldn’t want to miss!

What is BPD?
BPD is a severe and complex mental health condition, which largely misunderstood and stigmatised. Amongst many other things, BPD often prevents the sufferer from working and from have stable relationships, due to the intense mood swings, chaotic thinking and destructive coping mechanisms. Although the behaviour is often seen as ‘attention seeking’, their maladaptive behaviour is actually due to their inability to manage and express feelings in a healthy way.

Is BPD Treatable?
BPD can be treated! Many people with BPD who receive appropriate treatment are able to learn to manage their emotions is a constructive way and are able to lead a productive, healthy and happy life, and often get back into employment. However, despite this, and despite the fact that 1 in 10 people with the condition commit suicide if it is left untreated, there is currently no appropriate support for those with BPD in Derby. On top of that, given the  recent extensive mental health cuts in the NHS, even the little general support that there is for those with BPD and other mental health issues is being decreased. It is inevitable that this will lead to decline in people’s mental health and even an increase in fatalities.

How is a Tea Party Improving this Situation?
The proceeds of the tea party are going to go towards the funding Borderline needs to put on a national exhibition tour of artwork created by artists who have BPD. On the tour there will also be creative workshops for the public and theatre performances. The purpose of the tour is to:
– Raise awareness of and reduce stigma surrounding BPD
– Improve relationships/understanding/communication between sufferers and carers/family members/professionals etc
– Highlight the need for appropriate BPD services in Derby and across the country
– Nurture artists with BPD, give them platform to exhibit and develop as artists and to find an artistic identity and a voice through their art as they are often isolated and do not have to confidence to do this.

To do all this, we need money, so we are holding this very exciting fundraiser to help get all this started! If you are able too come along or support us in anyway, you really would be making a difference to the lives of people with BPD as well as their families and carers. Not to mention you will have a splendid time!

How do I find out more?
Anyone interested in getting involved or in coming along should contact admin@borderlineart.co.uk  For more information about Borderline, please visit www.borderlineart.co.uk Click on ‘Latest News’ for more information about this event.

We look forward to seeing you at at The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on 29th March at 2.30pm! Don’t be late for this very important date!