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.


Better, Drawn.

A good friend in mental health sent me a link to a website called Better, Drawn. It’s a fantastic site, full of high quality submissions. Basically Better, Drawn is a website for “comics drawn by people with experience of living with long-term mental and physical illnesses.” Below is their explanation of who and what they are, and also a link to their submissions guide in their FAQ.

“Better, drawn is a place for people to share stories about long-term mental and physical illnesses, told in the form of short comics. The site is a way for people to write and draw about their experiences that might otherwise be difficult to talk about openly. In fact, we think that sometimes things can be said better when they’re drawn.

Submissions are open to anyone with experience of long-term mental or physical illness to share – whether or not you see yourself as a comic artist. So, if you have experience with these kinds of health issues, or if you are close to someone who does, then you might like to consider submitting a comic for the site. You can visit our FAQ to find out more about how to send us your work.”

Portugal Prints Art Exhibition

Portugal Prints (Westminster Mind), an innovative mental health project based in Central London, are having an exhibition from 7th-9th December.

The opening night of the exhibition is this Thursday 1st December where you will have the chance to meet the artists, view their open studio and card making demonstrations. If you are free between 2-5pm then I recommend you get on down there as it will be aces. I won’t be able to get along until later but that’s okay as there’s also an evening private view from 5-8pm, so there’s really no excuse to miss out!

Check out the flyer below and I hope to see you there.


Mara McWilliams

Mara McWilliams’ website is a tour de force. Through her site www.maramcwilliams.com, I have stumbled upon a great bubbling vat of creativity that, at many points, springs directly from her experiences with mental disorder. I say at many points as although lots of her paintings and writing come directly from ‘that place’, sometimes hugely creative during manic episodes, lots of her articles and work is reflective on what it is like living a life with bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, anorexia and self-harm.

Mara has learnt over the years to go with her bodys’ flow and work with her disorders in an organic way. She speaks wisely of ‘taking responsibility’ as a bipolar woman. This is an interesting way to look at mental disorder, as if it is a tool to work with rather than something that, although it can, blights ones life and can only destroy it. While we can’t all be in control all of the time with mental disorder, it is refreshing to read about someone who has got to a level where they have learnt about how to cope in their own way, and protect themselves from the attack of mental disorder.

In any case, Mara’s website is an essential resource if you want to peer into the mind of someone living with issues of ‘teh mental’. She has some brilliant articles that you really must read, including using art therapy for good mental health.

A bio from Mara’s website…
“My work revolves around the concepts of hope, healing, and expressionism. I believe that by feely sharing emotion through color choices and brush strokes, we become in touch with our true selves. Creating art is almost a meditative process for me that is motivated by my spirituality. Due to technology, we long ago stopped needing the artist to accurately represent reality. I see my responsibility as an artist to give the viewer the opportunity to see worlds that before might have previously been shut off to them. Giving the viewer a different perspective on life, is perhaps the biggest honor an artist can receive.

As an openly Bipolar woman, the recurring goal of my work is to inspire other individuals with mental illness. I want those with a mental illness to know that there is a life full of wonderful possibilities after diagnosis.

I want others like myself to find the beauty in their unique mind and utilize it, like I have with my art. Art creates freedom and hope in my life. It is my goal to share the process of self-discovery and letting go that allows one to live a more stable life full of contentment.”

Beyond Cutting

Isolated Woman

Isolated Woman 2

Female Pain


SMHAFF Workshop, Edinburgh.

It’s a relief it’s over. Only because I thought I would be rubbish at conducting the workshop. But as it turns out it went really blooming well.

On Saturday 8th October I ran a workshop as part of the Scottish Mental Health Art and Film Festival in Edinburgh. The workshop was predominantly for mental health service users, however anyone was invited to take part. After a brief (and very nervous) ramble about who I am and what I do, I led the class in an illustration workshop. And boy, did they work hard. Three solid hours of drawing!

The idea behind the workshop is to illustrate a day in the life of a mental health service user. It doesn’t have to be a generic day, and it doesn’t have to involve waking up and getting dressed…it doesn’t have to be literal. I wanted it to be a memory, or a feeling, it could be an abstract piece of work that does not stick to the lines of the comic strip. It can be colours or words or shapes. Or it can just be a stickman and it can just be a boring day. It’s about what you feel, how you feel being a mental health service user. And a person.

I took a whole load of materials up from London (in the heaviest bag known to man) so everyone could have a go using different pens, inks and paints. As well as a massive stash of pencil crayons and brush pens the artists got to try out dip pens, acrylic inks, marker pens, charcoal and pastel crayons as well as using mixed media such as collage.

Ultimately I would like to publish a graphic novel of collected strips from mental health service users. If this is something you would like to be involved in, please get in touch.

Some photos of what we completed at the workshop follow. If you would like to see all the photos from the day, including some of the exhibitions installed at the same venue, please click here and scroll through pictures to the right.

Nuo Liu.

Nuo Liu is an illustrator and artist (hurrah, like me!) from California. I’m really glad to receive a submission from her as she has lived with an eating disorder and I would really like to help others get their voice heard about just what it is like living with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are often badly misunderstood and the actions of those suffering from eating disorders are usually misinterpreted. Eating disorders, whether it’s Anorexia, Bulimia, Compulsive Over-eating or EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), are crippling, mentally exhausting conditions and your heart should go out to sufferers. And please don’t think it’s ever a case of eating more or less. It’s really not.

“After going through depression and dealing with an eating disorder,  I have been able to use art to capture my thoughts in a healthy way. This drawing expresses what went on in my head when I was struggling with Anorexia. These type of thoughts still occur once in a while, but that is when I truly fight to forget them and do something positive such as art. Seeing a counselor and seeking accountability has also been a great tribute to my recovery. I hope to inspire others to do the same. I am an artist from Los Angeles and you can see more of my drawings at www.seedsketch.com.”