A good friend in mental health sent me a link to a website called Better, Drawn. It’s a fantastic site, full of high quality submissions. Basically Better, Drawn is a website for “comics drawn by people with experience of living with long-term mental and physical illnesses.” Below is their explanation of who and what they are, and also a link to their submissions guide in their FAQ.
“Better, drawn is a place for people to share stories about long-term mental and physical illnesses, told in the form of short comics. The site is a way for people to write and draw about their experiences that might otherwise be difficult to talk about openly. In fact, we think that sometimes things can be said better when they’re drawn.
Submissions are open to anyone with experience of long-term mental or physical illness to share – whether or not you see yourself as a comic artist. So, if you have experience with these kinds of health issues, or if you are close to someone who does, then you might like to consider submitting a comic for the site. You can visit our FAQ to find out more about how to send us your work.”
Posted in Art Therapy, better drawn, Bipolar Art, Borderline Art, Comics, Depression, DID Art, Digital Art, Eating Disorder, Illustration, Mental Health, PTSD, Schizophrenia
Tagged better drawn, comics, depression, drawing, drawn, illness, illustration, mental health, mental spaghetti
“Breakthrough are delighted to announce that they are holding another Arts in Health Event in Manchester on Friday the 10th of June, 2011.
We are keen to build on the momentum generated from previous events, using the setting as a way in which to promote positive practice, showcase the talents of service users, bring people and ideas together and to work towards developing a unified, national strategy for moving forwards. It would be great to have you involved!”
If you would like more details of the event and conference, including an early bird Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer which is valid until early May with additional deductions for Reflections Subscribers, please email me, mentalspaghetti [at] gmail dot com, and I will forward you on the details. I also have details of guest speakers, which include but is not limited to Damian Hebron, Director, London Arts in Health Forum Clive Parkinson – Director Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University and Mike Farrar CBE – Chief Executive of NHS North West.
“For more details about Breakthrough and what we are up to, including Tony’s ‘What’s It All About?!’ Epic Walk which kicks off later this month, please visit the website http://www.breakthroughmhart.com or get in touch via this email or firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, there is still time to be part of the Epic Walk and there are many ways you can go about it, too. Whether its getting on your walking boots and joining Tony at parts of his journey local to you, supporting events and projects in your local area, fundraising, driving the support vechicle or purchasing a ‘WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?!’ T-shirt, each action contributes to spreading the word, breaking down stigma associated with mental health and supporting the great work being achieved all over the country.
The Breakthrough Team.”
Posted in Art Therapy, conference, Depression, Fundraising
Tagged art, bipolar, borderline, breakthrough arts, conference, depression, illness, mental health, therapy, wellbeing
Dave Smurthwaite is an artist, writer, creative and, of course, a mental health service user living in London. He recently sent me a journalistic piece of writing on his time as an inpatient, a sort of ‘tips for the uninitiated’, having been sectioned 4 times, which he found a “harrowing, soul burning experience”. You can find that piece of writing amongst others here.
I took a look at his website and found an Aladdin’s cave of creativity; I want to feature most of his work on this site! So, choosing a few pieces is certainly difficult, and, with his permission, I will show more of his pieces from time to time.
Two of my favourite images in his albums are the sketches above with their loose and energetic mark making. But Dave also makes more graphic-design inspired work, like these gorgeous multimedia collages bursting with shapes, patterns and colours…
Dave also runs a mental health community website, Mmmeta, “a community of creative people who have been affected by mental illness. The site is intended to be a place to share with like minded people, support each other and express ideas and emotions in creative ways. mmmeta. is not excusive, it’s inclusive.”. To find out more about Mmmeta and join the community, click here. Watch the introduction to Mmmeta below.
As well as all this he runs the website for Bath Visual Arts Fringe Festival. Please do have a look at this website as the Bath Fringe Festival is excellent and you will no doubt find out loads of interesting, quirky and impressive happenings. And make sure you visit the Festival this year!
Apropos of nothing, I just love this funny little chihuahua-cheese…
Dave suffers from schizophrenia and you can read his online diary here.
You can buy Dave’s work from his Etsy shop. Or you might just find him selling his work on Bayswater Road in the sunshine…
Posted in Acrylic Painting, Dave Smurthwaite, Illustration, Mental Health, Painting, Psychiatric Hospitals, Schizophrenia
Tagged bath fringe festival, collage, dave smurthwaite, drawing, graphic design, hospital, illness, medication, mental health, painting, psychotic, schizophrenia, sectioned
I found a great Facebook Page the other day – Art Therapy Alliance. In their own words they “embrace social media & connection online to promote art therapy, the work of art therapists, & build community.
The Art Therapy Alliance is an online professional group for art therapists on LinkedIn and fans on Facebook founded by Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC. Our website, Twitter, and Facebook fanpage feature resources, groups, blogs, and more related to the field of art therapy worldwide.”
Penny Saylor talks about some of her art work while standing in front of a picture she painted of her daughter, Kandace Merrill, from when she was a child. Saylor and her daughter have their artwork on display in the lobby at Community Mental Health of Muskegon and a reception was held on Wednesday evening for the pair. Chronicle Photo by Matt Gade.
If you take only a cursory scan of their fanpage wall you can see various news items regarding health and wellbeing (not all directly mental health related) including the current exhibition of clinically depressed artist Penny Saylor from Michigan, USA, and Donna Mitchell, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder three years ago.
Penny Saylor talks with Chris Erickson about her piece called “Dreams” during a reception at the Community Mental Health of Muskegon on Wednesday afternoon in the lobby. Saylor and her daughter Kandace Merrill are the feature artists in the Gallery at CMH Muskegon. Chronicle Photo by Matt Gade.
The Art Therapy Alliance fanpage is interesting, informative and a great resource to further your experience of art, creativity and mental health service users as well as art therapy and how creating art can be therapeutic. In August-September 2010 the ATA set up an artist trading card swap project. Here is a video about the project and some of the cards traded. It’s a lovely concept and one that builds interaction between artists who are also mental health service users.
Photos in this article copywrite Muskegon Chronicle.
Posted in Acrylic Painting, Bipolar Art, Borderline Art, Ceramics, Illustration, Mental Health, Oil Painting, Painting
Tagged art therapy, bipolar, bpd, depression, illness, mental health, pd, stigma, trauma, wellbeing
Twitter friend (and actual cousin of actual real life friend) @PetrolPete told me the other day about an exhibition of art in mental health, by service users, that he had been to in Denmark. He was also kind enough to supply a link to the museum so, with not a minute to waste, I stick it up here on the blog.
Museum Overtaci is situated in Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov. It is an old psychiatric hospital designed by G. Bindesboll, opened in 1852. It now houses the art museum and the museum of psychiatry, an extensive collection of furniture, implements, medical tools and patient artifacts from the hospital workshop. The purpose of the museum is to “demystify mental illness through a thought-provoking insight into the fate and lives of people in an otherwise secluded and obscure world. It tells us a very distinctive chapter of Danish history, from a psychiatric point of view, and reflects the social climate of contemporary society.”
The Art Museum is on the ground floor of this typically overbearing albeit magnificent 19th century asylum. It houses over 6,000 works of art. Currently there are 850 art works on display, representing 86 artists, all of whom were mentally ill, the majority of them having been admitted to the hospital themselves. The most famous artist represented in the Art Museum is Louis Marcussen, also known as ‘Overtaci’.
Please visit the Museum website to find out more about the history and artists at the museum.
I’d also like to mention that @PetrolPete has a blog you absolutely must check out, The Bionic Vapour Boy.
Posted in Aarhus University Hospital, Bipolar Art, Borderline Art, Illustration, Mental Health, Oil Painting, Psychiatric Hospitals, Schizophrenia, Watercolour
Tagged Aarhus University Hospital, denmark, illness, mental health, mental spaghetti, mental wellbeing, overtaci, psychiatric hospital