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.
Scratch the Surface Festival: BE Music ‘A Symphony of Bee and Man’
For the past six months, Mental Spaghetti has been working with Collective//Pod, of The Pod, Coventry, supporting the upcoming Mental Health Arts festival, Scratch the Surface: Dialogue.
The festival runs September 30th – October 10th, World Mental Health Day, and will present a varied and rolling programme of visual arts, performance, and participatory projects. Artists and full programme will be announced later in the month, but for now I’d like to announce BE Music, by internationally renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress (whose work you may have previously experienced at Kew Gardens).
A unique concert will be creating a buzz in Coventry to celebrate World Mental Health Day!
Internationally renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress and music ensemble BE are set to bring a performance with a difference to Coventry Cathedral – they will be accompanied by 50,000 bees. BE will perform their critically acclaimed album “ONE” featuring a live-streamed chorus of 50,000 bees from a hive within the Cathedral grounds.
An integral part of the performance will be hosted by a bespoke community choir engineered and choreographed by the Pod’s Collective//Pod, an artist collective derived by members with lived experience of mental ill health. The Pod is Coventry City Council’s award winning mental health resource and creative hub.
The event, being held on Saturday, October 7 at 7.30pm, is part of Collective//Pod’s annual mental health arts festival “Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE” and is being supported by Coventry Cathedral.
BE was formed as a collaboration between Wolfgang Buttress, musicians Tony Foster, Kev Bales, Deirdre Bencsik, Camille Christel and scientist Dr Martin Bencsik, who is undertaking cutting-edge research using accelerometers embedded in beehives.
The accelerometers, devices which are sensitive to tiny vibrations, will be used to livestream the sounds from the bee hive into the Cathedral during the performance.
Visual projections, including images from the project and live footage from the hive, will also be screened, and specially-created candles scented with botanicals from the Cathedral and essential oils from the new bee hive will be used to create a multi-sensory atmosphere.
The bees are already within the grounds of the Cathedral in preparation for the event, and the hive will remain there as a lasting legacy.
“Coventry Cathedral is an amazing space with an incredible history, so it is an honour to be performing there. It will be a very moving and powerful performance, and using bees based in the grounds will give the audience a real sense that what is happening is live. We weren’t scheduled to perform this year, however when we were approached to be part of a concert celebrating World Mental Health Day it really resonated with us and it’s wonderful that we are able to contribute.” – Wolfgang Buttress
The event is supporting Coventry’s bid to be the UK City of Culture 2021. The bid is being led by Coventry City of Culture Trust and, if successful, would bring social, cultural and economic benefits to the city.
Coventry is now on the shortlist along with four other cities, and will submit a final bid in September before the decision is announced in December.
The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, added: “We look forward to welcoming BE and the choir for what will be a truly unique performance to celebrate World Mental Health Day. A performance featuring bees has never been staged at the Cathedral before, and demonstrates the diversity of the events that we hold. It’s also nice to have another 50,000 parishioners in the grounds, which will remain here permanently following the concert!”
“ONE” is the soundscape for Wolfgang Buttress’s multi award-winning sculpture The Hive, currently sited in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, which seeks to highlight the importance of the honey bee in the food chain and their plight as a species.
Since recording the album, BE has gone on to appear at festivals including Glastonbury, Bluedot Caught by the River and End of the Road and perform sell-out shows at Kew, Sonos Studios and St Mary’s Church, in Nottingham.
The critically acclaimed “ONE” was in the best album list of 2016 of The Guardian, Rough Trade and The Quietus.