Start in Manchester is an NHS mental health organisation with a bit of a twist. They are an art in mental health organisation, nationally recognised as a leader in its field, who offer therapeutic services based on the experience of creativity. Through art and gardening courses the team help to “maintain mental wellbeing, develop coping strategies and self-care skills, and regain the confidence to move back into mainstream life.”
Working with people experiencing long-term mental difficulties and distress Start offer a mix of skills to their students (all mental health service users) including visual arts, horticulture and occupational therapy. When service users join Start they usually have no or very little previous experience of art however they find their talents are drawn out through the creative, supportive learning environment. To find out more about Start click here.
The images displayed on this page are a selection from Start’s galleries, including drawing and painting, ceramics and mosaic work. Start not only exhibit their service users’ work but they have also completed a number of commissions which is my favourite thing about the project.
Posted in Alzheimer's, Bipolar Art, Borderline Art, Ceramics, Dementia, Illustration, Mental Health, Oil Painting, Painting, Schizophrenia, Start Manchester, Watercolour
Tagged art therapy, bipolar, borderline, disability, drawing, mental health, nhs, ocd, painting, psychotic, schizophrenia, service users, start in manchester, therapy
Lovely mental health service user and blogger Ruby Tuesday (My Thirteenth Sad Day) suggested artist Josephine King for this blog. King’s powerful pieces depict what it is/was like living with Bipolar Disorder and the effect it had on her life. Her first self portrait came “out of nowhere” at a time when she was seriously ill and suffering psychosis, “desperate, and not at all well in my head”.
The wonderful, rustic and rickety Riflemaker Gallery in Soho, London, a place I have been lucky enough to visit in the past, showed 80 of King’s self-portraits last year. Regrettably I knew nothing of this exhibition (gutted!) until Ruby told me about it yesterday. Here are some images from the show.
(pictures taken from Guardian website. Please check out Ruby’s blog.
The other day I stumbled across an extensive archive of work by mental health service users in the form of Breakthrough: Art in mental health. I got in touch with them straight away to say how much I admire what they are doing and I hope they wouldn’t mind me linking to some of their images. I’ve not heard anything back yet, however I have found out that linking to their images doesn’t work (because of some internets dark arts code that I do not understand) so all I can do is ask you to please go and visit their website, and search through all the galleries, read their blog and especially read their National Strategy Group page.
Here are some quick links to their galleries, split into Northern, Midlands and Southern UK artists.
Northern Artists / Midlands Artists / Southern Artists