Tag Archives: nhs
Last night I went to a private view of Terence Wilde’s work at Highgate Mental Health Centre. I was lucky enough to meet up with Terence, a charming man with a super sense of style. He used to be a fashion print designer but gave it up due to the demands of the job. Terence now works at Bethlem Hospital. He is also an ex-service user. Terence says his “paintings reflect tortuously working my way through life from the perspective of an adult survivor”. He also described drawing as ‘trepanning without the drilling’, one of the best and dryly funny descriptions of art as therapy that I have ever heard.
‘Tell Me About your Childhood!’
Terence is exhibiting paintings and illustration at the gallery in Highgate, and the show will be running until May 10th. There will be a special closing event for the show which I will be blogging about nearer the time.
‘In the Counting House’
Terence describes creativity “as a healing tool, emotionally to describe, spiritually to make sense of. The process of self-acceptance, of being comfortable in your own skin, is the stem of my creative processes; it has enabled me to function in a healthier, true place.”
Terence’s paintings are awesome and if you can make it please do go and check out the exhibition. My favourite work on display is the illustration but I am biased since illustration is my thing. I did take photographs but they didn’t come out very well so for now I am going to put a load of his artworks from his website up. When I go back to the exhibition I will take some better photos and put them up here.
Please check out Terence’s website here. If you would like to order prints or artwork please get in touch with Terence directly through his website contact details.
If you would like to visit the exhibition, the address is Highgate Mental Health Centre, Darthmouth Park Hill Highgate, London N19 5NX, Tel: 020 7561 4000. Please call them to find out opening times.
“Life is an unravelling of self/A skill learned/A road travelled without a map/Living life is an art form/Like origami in reverse”
-Terence Wilde, September 2005
‘Swan Lake Revisited’
‘Beloved (Kate Bush’s Angel)’
‘Case of Casey’s Vespers’
‘Don’t Look Under the Bed’
‘Bette Davis Angel’
‘Do I Look Fat in This?’
‘The Girl with Hoopla Hair’
Silvis Rivers, known as “Pillvis Depressely” to friends, is an artist particularly interested in illustrations, poetry and photography. He also has some amazing sculpture work. I found him through the blog Birmingham User Watch, an “Independent Occasionally Very Satired View Of Mental Health NHS Issues As Well As Those Further Afield”. His illustration series ‘The Purple Bunny Plan’ and ‘HSJ Mogger’ caught my eye and are definitely worth investigating further. You can do this by going to his Flickr profile and also employing the trusty Google machine to find out what else he is up to (the Highcroft Lifebook Film is very interesting as is ‘The Highcroft Lifebook Project & African Masks’, a project ‘In Remembrance Of My Family Of 18 Who Suffered In The Workhouse And Mental Hospital’).
Images from ‘The Highcroft Lifebook Project & African Masks’
Today I’d like to turn your attention to the rather amazing blog ‘Art Therapy’. I check in with it every day to find out the latest art therapy news. It is an invaluable source for service users, art therapists, learners, facilitators and the simply interested.
On the blog you’ll find featured artists, posts by specialist practitioners, interviews, news stories and links to fascinating articles and documentaries. Make sure you do visit the Art Therapy blog by going to www.arttherapyblog.com.
I’m off to a special private view tonight at Highgate Mental Health Centre. Will report back with pictures and a write-up.
“HealthScreen”: Understanding Illness through Film
MedFest 2012 is a FREE film festival, which will tour the UK in February/March 2012. Its target audience is primarily medical students, but we expect to welcome a range of health professionals, as well as members of the public, and indeed our patients.
Films provide a powerful medium for entertainment, but also education. Public opinion is drastically swayed by moving images in the form of adverts, documentaries, public health campaigns and feature films.
The remit of MedFest 2012 is to provoke debate of the social, political and ethical implications of depictions of health and illness on our screens. When inaccurate, these portrayals can create myths, propagate falsehoods and incite stigma. But when correctly presented, they have the potential to empower patient groups and dispel prejudice.
I found Izzi’s blog on her mental health related art via her website, Juggle Glass (a blog dedicated to coping with mental illness at University). Both her Juggle Glass blog and her blog on art in mental health, Herself Image, are well worth a look through so please take a minute to do so.
Izzi has had ““severe and enduring” mental health problems since my teenage years”. She says “As well as studying I do art in my spare time so I have posted some of my artwork on my site. Sometimes its hard to say things in words and my art helps me communicate my feelings better sometimes.”
Here’s a message from Izzi regarding her two websites…
“Hi there everyone.
Since I do so much art, too much to fit on my mental health art page here, I have started a separate photoblog for all my mental health artwork and photography. It will take a little while to upload all of my artwork so please be patient with me but please come on over and see what you think. The blog is called HerSelf Image. I hope you like it.
Lots of Love
A selection of Izzi’s work…
(Taken from BBC Inside Out> East.)
“Mental health patient Steve Austin finds that painting provides a creative outlet for his mind. Steve’s work is the one thing that keeps him going when he starts feeling down.”
Okay, so here is the first piece of writing we have ever published on the site. We recently received this work, ‘Beast’, from DeLune who describes herself as “an NHS service nutter who writes”.
I would love to receive a submission for an illustration to go along with this piece of writing. If you are reading and want to give it a go, please, please do!
Here it comes, like a ghost train shrieking on the same silver tracks.
Here it comes, a furious risen corpse; all clawed pale hands and wailing screams.
Here it comes, moon-chewing crypt dweller; hunger-carved into bones and sinew.
The Beast is here. I feel it itch between my bones, I feel it spark like pagan fires, I watch it paint my loved one’s face with fear.
It eats my sleep, it jerks my limbs. I convulse, mouth taut in a silent shout that would shatter the window if given voice.
I crouch, spin, twitch, cower, shake and shiver. I gaze unseeing, I hold my voice in. I must be reminded if I am to eat.
I am busy, can’t you see? Chasing stars – faster and faster, I will open my beast’s mouth and suck them all down.
‘I’m terribly sorry I’m sure that your conversation is endlessly fascinating but werewolves are breeding beneath my skin and I have to go.”
I burn. I burn. Vampire in sunlight, demon in exorcism, witch in Inquisition pyre, I burn. Something swarms my mind like bees; I call it Starvation. I call it Thirst.
Spinning in circles, arms flung out, round and round until my feet drill down to the cool, the calm, the silence; a long way under the skin.
A wounding imp, it threatens to take everything unless I guess it’s name. But I am clever;
I am forged from faerie stories and night wanderings
– shame and grief and demolishing rage, that’s what this little girl is made of –
And I guess it’s name, I call it madness, and my magic sword,
My wood-cutter’s axe,
Is shaped like a pill.
You’re likely to have heard of Kim Noble before due to some good press coverage of her amazing work. I will leave the bio up to the good people from her website, please read it below. I have lifted all of the images and text from www.kimnoble.com so all credit must go to them.
Kim’s next Exhibition: “One of Many”, 9th November – 2nd December 2011, Bethlem Gallery, Beckenham, Kent
Painting by Bonny
“Kim Noble is a woman who, from the age of 14 years, spent 20 years in and out of hospital until she made contact with Dr Valerie Sinason and Dr Rob Hale at the Tavistock and Portman Clinics. In 1995 she began therapy and was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (originally named multiple personality disorder).
Painting by Bonny
D.I.D is a creative way to cope with unbearable pain. The main personality splits into several parts with dissociative or amnesic barriers between them. It used to be a controversial disorder but Kim has had extensive tests over 2 years by leading psychology professor at UCL, John Morton, who has established there is no memory between the personalities and that she has the misfortune of representing the British gold standard over genuine dissociation.
Kim has 20 main personalities, many fragments and 14 of the main personalities are artists. Having no formal art training, 14 of the main alters became interested in painting in 2004 after spending a short time with an art therapist. These 14 artists each have their own distinctive style, colours and themes, ranging from solitary deserts, sea scenes and abstracts to collages and paintings with traumatic content. Many alters are unaware that they share a body with other artists.
Painting by Ria Pratt
What is remarkable to all is both the quality of their work and the speed of their progress. Within five years of starting to paint they have already had seventeen successful solo exhibitions and participated in an equal number of group exhibitions. Kim was also the first Artist in Residence at Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, South West London.
Kim now has a 14 year old daughter and is a vivacious woman with a wonderful sense of humour and great courage and commitment.”
Painting by ‘Others’