Jacob Sharpe – The Hanging Badger

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.”
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Gary Kleiner

@Gary Kleiner, 2017

“I’m Gary Kleiner, an artist based in Suffern NY, near a place called Hopper House Gallery, the home of Edward Hopper.

I’ve rediscovered my artistic abilities while being hospitalised for several months for depression and anxiety. Whilst resident at Frawley Hall, Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern NY, and Four Winds Hospital at Katonah, NY, I did arts and crafts. My mom – also an artist – brought me drawing supplies, and I was hooked.

My mental and physical health have clouded my view of the world. I have viewed the world as generally scary, and seeing others as being different than I am. With my view of the world being dark, I interpret it through colours and abstract shapes, seen in my distorted people and moving lines. I use some symbols in my drawings such as the cross which represents faith, church (religion), penises and vaginas, representing sexuality. I include some small writing in some of my drawings. I’m just writing what’s on my mind. The crown in my images pays tribute to the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who has influenced my work.

@Gary Kleiner, 2017

I am a very creative and emotional person who uses art to show others what’s going on in my life. I see art as a major part of my life. Since I was little, I was always searching for meaning to my life, as well as being extremely curious about life and death. I have been using drawing daily as a therapeutic tool to help me with my self-esteem as well as trying to earn money with my art.

My mother, an artist, who studied at The Art Students League in New York, has been a large influence to me by showing me her view of the world through her art. She shared some of her world as an artist and for this I dedicate my work to her. Other artists who I admire are, Picasso, Munch, Basquiat, Dali, Haring and Sesow (a current artist).

I work tirelessly on my art; my goal is to take my art as far as I can go, as well as teaching other people how to express themselves though their art.

I accidentally got the woodcut look by surrounding people, figures and objects with black. I studied wood cuts, I have interesting older stuff I did after I got out of the hospital. They are supposed to be all emotions, this is what I want to express.”

Gary is currently looking for opportunities to exhibit his work. Please contact us at Mental Spaghetti if you are interested.

Siris Hill

Siris Hill is a self-taught artist whose creative practice is centred around Renaissance and Baroque inspired figurative painting. His work explores the effects of mental illness and other psychological conditions of the mind on an individual. Focusing on the struggle of perception, he depicts the beauty of individuality, but the strongest message is the struggle of trying to live. ​Siris is a digital fine artist, replicating the textures and movement of oil and acrylic paint.

“I’m Siris Hill. I’m 27. I have suffered from anxiety and depression since my late teens, and, have become somewhat agoraphobic due to the anxiety, which makes it difficult to network with other people. I sometimes find it difficult to share my work. This is caused by past rejection, anxiety about approaching people, and not feeling good enough.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at birth. I practically lived in hospitals until the age of fifteen when I decided I was sick of them mistreating me. I stopped taking my medication, and have been physically healthy ever since, although I began getting anxiety attacks due to the trauma of my childhood.

I started painting 4 years ago, as a way to relax. Since then it has become a form of meditation for me. I am self-taught and my work portrays the raw feelings and emotions felt living with mental illnesses. It might be difficult for a person living without a mental illness to understand what it’s like for me – I often feel frustrated and isolated.

I love oil painting, but I’m unable to use it due to the fumes and certain materials triggering my anxiety. I taught myself to replicate techniques of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt. Due to the advancements in technology I’m able to replicate traditional painting almost exactly, the only difference is drying times between layers.

I use a graphics tablet which tracks the movement of a pen that I hold to paint so my hand movements are then replicated on the screen.  Other than that my process is almost exactly like Rembrandt’s, from what I’ve gathered through research at least. I build up a rough sketch to find a composition, fill in light and shadows, work in black and white to realise my forms and then glaze colours on top (although sometimes I work with colour straight away).

Painting is my way of expressing what I can’t talk about. My art may seem dark, but, I feel it reflects the reality other people like me live with day to day.”

To see more of Siris Hill’s work, please visit his website, www.sirishill.co.uk/, Instragram, and Facebook profiles. Siris recently exhibited with ten other artists living with mental ill health. Their self-curated show, Absence, can be viewed online, here.




TAIESEID: A Multi-media and oft (accidentally) installation artist with a working practise on mental health, specifically with an autobiographical focus on anorexia and borderline personality disorder.

A recent Fine Art graduate from Liverpool School of Art and Design, I have just undertaken my first international residency at Arts, Letters & Numbers in New York, USA.

I am also a recovering anorexic and bulimic, and current sufferer of borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression. I have spent large portions of my life in inpatient mental health facilities and my practise focuses on mental health and, mostly, anorexia.”

See more at http://taieseid.com.



“I created the installation ‘Heterotopia’, which focuses on anorexia and the in-between living. It is a sound and film interactive piece, which consists of a 3/5 sided space panelled with reflective silver materials and a ‘squishy floor’.

The film and audio is 9 minutes long, with a 5 min gap between rolls to allow people to explore the squishy floor become ‘comfortable’ before the piece starts. Size wise, it is perhaps the end of a room or even a corridor would work so long as the floor and back wall and ceiling could be completely covered and the two sides left blank for reflections.

Below are some stills from a recent showing of Heterotopia at the Tertium Quid exhibition at the Arts, Letters & Numbers Institute in NY. “

If any of you readers with a suitable space out there think Heterotopia might be appropriate for your programme, please contact Taieseid via her website.


Ana Pallares


Ana Pallares, born in Barcelona in 1993, is a self-taught artist, whose practice reflects on pain, death and other intangible realities which all too often occur with little reason.

Ana says, “I strive to find, and attach, new meanings to these realities, hoping to present them in a healthier, more manageable way – ultimately aiming to turn destructive feelings into constructive action.”

She also portrays characters that she is intellectually, emotionally or sexually attracted to. She has exhibited in Barcelona, Madrid and London, at The Hundred Years Gallery, The Brick Lane Gallery, Lacey Contemporary, Walton Fine Arts and the Illustrated Art Fair, 2016.


Ana’s first solo shows appeared in London last year, at The Hundred Years Gallery and Ziferblat. She has occasionally worked as an illustrator for digital culture magazines.


In this online exhibition you will find a collection of works that Ana Pallares created between 2015 and 2016. The works were done using Posca markers and acrylic paints on paper or linen.

Universe with its galaxies.

Galaxies with their planets.

Planets with their countries.

Countries with their cities.

Cities with their humans.

Humans with their problems.

Problems with their causes.

Causes with their context.

Ana Pallares with all these stuff inside her head to she’s getting crazy because she has a universe on her mind.


See more from Ana at her Tumblr site,  Instagram and Facebook profiles. If you would like to contact Ana, you can do so, here.

Images below from Ana Pallares solo show at The Hundred Years Gallery.


Derek Collins \ D+SEA

scan0003all words and artwork, ©Derek Collins. If you would like to get in touch with Derek, please email us.

I ain’t sure if this makes sense… but I reckon “sense” is a commodity I bartered long long many moons time ago…

Am  a  epileptic ex-junkie word wranglin’
music manglin’ monad…
presentin’ these pictorial pustules…a pair of perfidious polyps
pre-thought, post-human
funnelled through the cold slops of
a broken soul
bolstered + procured by profound
isolation I place my gifts upon yr altar
all my futile generosities, straight from the
id, tremblin’ n naked on the barren shores of a post-addictive alienated consciousness…

image 1: the symptom pool

image“the Terrible Mother, the vagina dentata, the Fury, Lilith, Justine the Hag, Babylon the castrating harlot, The Venusian conspiracy…”

image 2: the girl who lived on heaven hill 


“the Great Mother, the nurturing anima, The Madonna, The daughters of the heart, Christabel, Juliette, The Yin, La Femme…”

d+sea the otherorganism awaits…

I walk on mirrored angles
broken light insists
I must cross these frozen borders
and upon strange circuits
they melt but persist…


Susan Mary Gratwick: New work, explained

Nelson: Colonisation, Consequences | ©Susan Mary Gratwick
Algorithms | ©Susan Mary Gratwick
The Spiritual Form of Nelson Guiding the Leviathon – Homage to William Blake

All words and images, ©Susan Mary Gratwick.

I first saw William Blake’s painting, The Spiritual Form of Nelson Guiding the Leviathon, way back in 2007, on a visit to a workshop in the Tate Britain. The image would not leave me. I saw the writhing bodies squirming in and out of the labyrinthine form of the Leviathon, the sea monster, the nearly naked form of Horatio Nelson standing on the back of a crouching black man. And I thought of all the suffering of these different peoples all around this planet of ours, in order to create wealth. Even the Tate itself, purveyor of art to the masses, would have not existed but for slavery, based in and on the sale of sugar, again based in and on the Slave Trade.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

“The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. The direction of the force on the first object is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object. Forces always come in pairs – equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.”

This is Newton’s Third Law of Motion, and I wonder if this can be applied to actions in political and economic history, such as Slave Trade. I don’t know, but I question it. It somehow feels as if we have built our civilization on moral quicksand, almost as if I had personally murdered someone in order to have the standard of living I now have. William Blake’s tempera painting, with the ‘spiritual form of ‘ Horatio Nelson, the loci of British courage, heroism and valour, standing on the back of a crouching African, reminds us what happened, ‘lest we forget’.

 “Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil”
Horatio Nelson to a midshipman aboard the Agamemnon (1793).

I had been thinking about how Great Britain became wealthy in the first place, how this was via the slave trade, and how Horatio Nelson defended this power on the world stage. Slavery created great power and wealth for the powers that were [and are] so, in order to become a world power, to create wealth, someone benefits and someone loses. Slavery, devoid of morality, was a logical means of creating wealth and it was of course morally unsound. To see another human being as a lesser mortal was expedient. Wealth creation on that scale based on logic, rational and expedient thinking –  see today’s algorithms which control movement of capital in the stock exchange – but is immoral, as the consequences on the planet and human life and living standards of the ‘ordinary man’ are not part of the equation. Morality is not part of an algorithm.

Alone, stands she weeping | ©Susan Mary Gratwick

I love icons, they emanate something directly to my heart. I can deconstruct Christianity, see how it has been and can be used as a tool of politics and control, yet, Christian icons bypass the literature somehow.

I think of the dark side of Christianity and I think of the young girl from Nazareth, who, by a trick of history became a focus of veneration throughout the world, and, imagine that if she actually existed, she might just look on and weep.

Bird Pecking My Heart Out | © Susan Mary Gratwick

I think that this painting is about fear.

Alone Stands She Falling | ©Susan Mary Gratwick

This is a ‘What am I?’ painting and is just showing a physicality, and this one wonders what she is doing and where she is going.

‘Fish or Snake? That is the question, whether ’tis./Stasis’ | © Susan Mary Gratwick

Again, she is wondering what to do…

‘Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?’

I think that the fish represents Christian ethics and values and the snake, knowledge.

I look at the world today, at our cultural values, codes of ethics and the confusion therein. There seems to be a criss-crossing of multitudinous interconnections, inferences, influences, and so very much history and I wonder about it all.