In July 2017, Mental Spaghetti, in partnership with MIND, ran a series of workshops aimed at young marginalised artists to create a collaborative outdoor art installation in memory of Rowan Morrall.
Rowan was a talented young artist who lived in Bedford. He suffered from mental health distress from his adolescence onwards, and ended his life at the age of 26.
Throughout this short time, Rowan created some beautiful works of art, which he aspired to build a life around as an artist. His parents wanted to provide an opportunity for some young people like Rowan, to develop their art and show others the talent they have.
On 20 July 2018, Rowan’s family and friends will hold a memorial service at the Bedford Wellbeing Centre to officially open ‘Rowan’s cosmos’. Rowan’s Cosmos is an outdoor art installation symbolising Rowan’s love of learning and travel, despite becoming more reclusive as his mental health suffered. The artwork created represents planets, stars, celestial terrains and imaginary worlds.
The official opening will be held on what would have been Rowan’s 28th birthday, and will additionally be attended by local MP Mohammad Yasin and councillor Louise King.
We welcome all to see the installation, so please join us at in the garden at the Recovery College to take some time to remember Rowan, and appreciate all the work that the young people of Mind and YMCA Foyer have put in to creating Rowan’s Cosmos.
Jacob Sharpe, ‘The Hanging Badger’. Fine artist and illustrator, working mainly with vinyl cut relief printing. Themes of history, mythology, horror and folklore run through Jacob’s work; my favourite pieces are his portraits, above. For more of his work, check out Jacob’s website >> www.thehangingbadger.com.
“I was diagnosed with a mental heath condition after I left university about 8 years ago but looking back I can see myself suffering from it (or elements of it) right back to my earliest years. I am an artist and have always hoped to make a living in some sort of arty way, or even just be a bit successful at it while not necessarily making a living. I predominantly work in black and white using vinyl cut relief printing and I often make use of silhouettes in my illustrations.
Recently I ventured away from my usual creative process as a way of coping better at my ‘real’ part time job (where I can feel most trapped!). I started to draw a series of self portraits in black ink on scraps of paper at certain quiet times at my desk to convey what was going on in my head when I was struggling most.
People I work with often comment on how cool, calm and collected I seem while working but in reality inside my head and through my body I am the complete opposite of relaxed. I felt a physical need to get out what was inside, I did not start the artwork with a plan I just kept putting pen to paper until I felt I had got across how horrible things were in my head at that moment. I have found this incredibly helpful, positive and uplifting to create a representation of something you can’t really ‘see’ and can’t always describe. It is a wonderful release and I find the nastier the portrait the better I feel.”
Mental Spaghetti is currently on hiatus while we concentrate on personal projects.
Thank you for all your support and participation over the past six years, we’ve had some marvellous adventures! For now we will continue to post news about artists, events and opportunities on our blog, so keep tuned.
Our lead artist, Marie-Louise Plum will be running more workshops at Free Space Project this year, so keep up to date with when they will happen via her website, http://www.marielouiseplum.com.
In the meantime, sign up to our blog posts (<<here) to get the latest news, events and opportunities from like-minded organisations. We will also continue to post about exciting and thought-provoking artists from the margins.
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Puppet making workshop exploring alternative characters of Christmas.
Learn how to make and fully decorate a ‘jumping jack’ puppet of a festive folkloric character of your choosing.
The workshops last three hours each. All materials provided and no artistic experience necessary.
We will spend a little time in the workshop briefly getting to know characters from different countries, such as Krampus (Austria), The Yule Lads (Iceland), and La Befana (Italy), before making the puppets.
Each workshop is a standalone session – you do not need to attend all three, unless you wish to. We will be making a jumping jack puppet in all three sessions. Each session costs £10.
Wen Wu opens Scratch the Surface Festival 2017 @STSfestivalCov, on Sunday October 1st. Scratch the Surface is a mental health arts festival that has been co-curated by Mental Spaghetti, amongst others, with festival organisers, Collective//Pod.
Be part of an ‘audience with…’ Wen Wu, on Sunday 1st October at 1:30pm, Fargo Village, Far Gosford St (Map).
Wen Wu’s exhibition in the CCCA Shed is also part of Coventry Biennial 2017, @Cov_Biennial.
Wen Wu at the CCCA has been co-curated by Mental Spaghetti and Collective//Pod. Special thanks Riflemaker Soho @Riflemaker_Soho for loaning Wen Wu’s paintings to us!
“Behind every brutal scene/there is beauty/in Suburban English Magick: Peer in to the world of semi-rural village life in the Shires. Modern day folklore, witchcraft and the uncanny, dressed in sportswear, driven in souped-up race cars, depicted in paint and recited in tongue.”
Large scale live painting and audio installation by Mental Spaghetti founder, Marie-Louise Plum.
From 2-16 September, a picture of Suburban English Magick will be built up, in paint and tongue, in the Bob and Roberta Smith CCCA Shed, Coventry.
Custodians of the CCCA, The Pod, have programmed this live painting exhibition in the run-up to the Scratch the Surface Festival, 2017, co-curated and programmed with various partners, including Mental Spaghetti.
Please note that live painting and audio installation will only take place between 10am-6pm, from Fri-Sun, from 2-16 September. The installation is visible at all times, during Fargo Village opening hours. Please see website for more details.