Rowan’s Cosmos

What: Art Installation Opening and Memorial for Rowan Morrall
When: Friday 20th July 2018, 1pm
Where: Recovery College, Wellbeing Centre, 3 Woburn Road, Bedford MK40 1EG
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.

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Exhibition: What Goes On In the Mind

What: Exhibition, ‘What Goes On In the Mind’
When: June 4th – July 4th, Reception Drinks June 11, 2-4pm
Where: Oxford Town Hall Gallery, St. Aldate’s, OX1 1BX

Opening Drinks Reception, this Saturday, June 11th, 2-4pm. All welcome! Facebook Event Page

Arts organisations AIMS (Oxford) and Mental Spaghetti (London) are exhibiting work from 18 artists, 9 from London and 9 from Oxford, both emerging and established, all with lived experience of mental health and/or physical disabilities.

Work ranges from painting, illustration, textile and sculpture, and will give an invaluable insight into the relationship between art, health and wellbeing as communication whilst navigating through life.

All our artists have incredible life stories and will be sharing intimate accounts of experiences and emotions that many of us have experienced but have been reluctant to share.

Expect dream-like worlds, fond memories, autobiographical fantasy realms and the cataloguing of experience.


Artwork by Jason Randall

In addition to finished pieces, there will be sketchbooks, notations and illustrated diaries on display, offering an illuminating view of the creative journey from ideas to finished pieces.

Artists are showing new, never exhibited, pieces and existing work. This exhibition is also chance to see work from previous collections that have not been exhibited in years.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 4th June until Tuesday 4th July. A drinks reception will be held on Saturday 11th June, from 2-4pm, with a chance to meet and talk to the artists involved.

Full list of exhibiting artists:

AIMS artists
Terrentius Andersohn, Dennis Day, Augus Davidge, Alistair Franklin, Yvonne Mabs Francis, Jason Randall, Luna Rain, Anthony Tozer, Sarah Warren.

Mental Spaghetti Artists
Tim Bradford, Emma Duggan, Terence Wilde, Laura Greenway, John Moore, Li Williams, Mikey Georgeson, Marie-Louise Plum, Jan Arden.

Mental Spaghetti contact: email / @mentalspaghetti / http://www.mentalspaghetti.org
AIMS contact: email

What Goes On In the Mind
The Gallery
Oxford Town Hall
St Aldate’s
Oxford
OX1 1BX

Opening times: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm

Installation viewing with added mince pies!

Back in October, in collaboration with Free Space Gallery, Mental Spaghetti and eight contributors* made an outdoor installation. Using plaster of paris, we cast, carved and sculpted our way to making ex-voto style offerings, on plinths, to sit in the front garden of Free Space Gallery.

The collaborative sculptures are now installed in the front garden at Free Space Gallery, Kentish Town Health Centre. Please join us, this Friday 18th December, from 3-5pm at Free Space Gallery. Melissa from Free Space and Marie from Mental Spaghetti will be there, with mince pies and mulled wine, and we hope that you can all make it along to view the installation.

As well as seeing our work in the garden, there’s also an opportunity for you to view the latest Free Space Gallery exhibition – ‘Vulnera’. Hope to see you there!

*If you would like to take part in making something like this artwork, look out for upcoming workshops by following the MS blog.

Bethlem Gallery presents: Cohedia by Xavier White

Bethlem Gallery is proud to present our first solo exhibition in our widely acclaimed new home recently opened in February 2015 and shared with the Bethlem Museum of the Mind.

Join Artist Xavier White to explore “an outsider’s artistic wanderings on the journey to the mind-expanding cityscape of Cohedia… Cohedia is a mind map, a jewel of an idea, polished with time and thought… Take a mental stroll in its streets buildings and vistas to appreciate the full ambience of the settlement… Thought and effort are put into making an atmosphere that is coherent and conducive to the development of the human spirit, enabling the brain connections that bring about cognition. Wish you were here Xx”

What is Cohedia? A shape, a colour, a solution, an answer?
Where is Cohedia?

The cityscape created by Xavier is a speculative environment simultaneously asking the viewer to imagine what kind of world we would create if we were given a blank canvas, and at the same time shedding light on the physical, cultural, and social structures that exist within our communities that shape our understanding of ourselves and others.

Depicted by a large painting at the heart of the exhibition at the Bethlem Gallery. The imagined landscape encompasses buildings, communities and social structures, explained in the film the artist made in 2006 ‘Fables Exhibition’ – an exhibition for the people – it represents life’s toil and the passage of time while we struggle… The Head Expansion.

School, where children’s progress is supported and their minds are expanded by the stimulation of others to develop into independent learners, and Escar abodes, housing the people of Cohedia, these structures are based on the idea of a snail shell, as the family grows so does the shell.

The exhibition also encompasses an intricate array of maquettes of the buildings made in glass, clay and metal. His artistic practice involves upcycling materials, working with found and scavenged objects “creating new aesthetics with Duchampian gusto”– says Xavier.

At the age of 18 Xavier suffered a near fatal head injury whilst cycling home through Peckham, South London. After a ten day coma at Kings College Hospital, he had to re-learn all his life skills at Maudsley Hospital’s Neurological Unit.

“My work is conceptually robust and perceptually intriguing, while at the same time carrying intensely personal, yet, resonantly universal human experience.” – Xavier White.

The creation of utopias can be seen as a form of human resilience in an imperfect world; a way of rationalizing the place we find ourselves in, imagining brighter futures, and giving the creator a sense of agency. Art history tells us this is a universal habit across cultures and centuries, perhaps, within the context of recovery, this creative comforting force becomes even more pertinent.

“White is a thinker, who has researched deeply into the fields of neurology, neural architecture, learning styles and brain function. And yet, since his accident, after which he had to learn, from scratch, how to even put one foot in front of the other, he unsurprisingly struggles with formal education.”– Writer and Art Critic Anna McNay

Exhibition continues: 16 April – 15 May
Opening times: Wed – Friday, 10am – 5pm
Gallery and museum open the first and last Saturdays of the month 10am – 5pm

Address: The Bethlem Gallery, Bethlem Royal Hospital Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX
Travel: Nearest British Rail: Eden Park / East Croydon
Contact: Beth Elliott, Gallery Director, 020 3228 4101
Email: thebethlemgallery@gmail.com
Website: http://www.bethlemgallery.com

To find out more about Xavier White’s work, please visit: xavierwhite.weebly.com

Excitement building…Spaghetti & The Yeti Workshop – 15/05/15!

Dear MS friends, we are extremely excited to report our findings from our recent visit to Free Space Gallery at the Kentish Town Health Centre.

As you know, our next workshop – a very special one, led by poet and comedian, John Hegley, in support of the Mental Health Foundation during Mental Health Awareness Week – will be held at KTHC, in partnership with Free Space Gallery, and what an event it’s going to be!

I finally met the very lovely Mel, who runs the FSG project. I was shown around KTHC, a vibrant, community space incorporating bright and sunny workshop spaces, a creative outdoor space full of the fruits of creative endeavour (including a mini White Cube gallery – more info to follow in another post!), a well laid out, extensive exhibition space, and all the mod cons you could need to host a workshop, plus refreshments, and – get this – a mini inside/outside shindig after the workshop on the 15th!

The ‘Well-Beeing’ garden and creative outdoor space

Before I go on, let me remind you that although tickets are £10 (plus £0.90 booking fee) each, we do have an allocation of free tickets for mental health service users. So get in touch by emailing mentalspaghetti@gmail.com if you’d like to snap up a free ticket before we run out!

Currently exhibiting at Kentish Town Health Centre is Bernard McGuigan, a sculptor and printmaker, described as “outstanding” by art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon. Bernard’s show will be on during the workshop so everyone is invited to go up to the gallery spaces and view the work. Also on display is a photography exhibition, as well as other art works dotted around the site, made by clients of KTHC, and a particularly exquisite tapestry featuring local scenes of old Kentish Town.

Bernard McGuigan’s work on display at Free Space Gallery

Regarding the little shindig after the workshop, we hope to have some stalls with local art for sale, as well as wine and snacks, and possibly some food stalls. There will be music – perhaps even some live music – so do expect jollity.

That’s all for now, folks, and I hope to see you all at our workshop and shindig!

Silvis Rivers.

Silvis Rivers, known as “Pillvis Depressely” to friends, is an artist particularly interested in illustrations, poetry and photography. He also has some amazing sculpture work. I found him through the blog Birmingham User Watch, an “Independent Occasionally Very Satired View Of Mental Health NHS Issues As Well As Those Further Afield”. His illustration series ‘The Purple Bunny Plan’ and ‘HSJ Mogger’ caught my eye and are definitely worth investigating further. You can do this by going to his Flickr profile and also employing the trusty Google machine to find out what else he is up to (the Highcroft Lifebook Film is very interesting as is ‘The Highcroft Lifebook Project & African Masks’, a project ‘In Remembrance Of My Family Of 18 Who Suffered In The Workhouse And Mental Hospital’).

Images from ‘The Highcroft Lifebook Project & African Masks’