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.
You can sign up with your email to get our news delivered straight to your inbox. Also, don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and connect on Twitter and Instagram, as we update regularly with cool stuff and happenings, even thought we are keeping a lower profile this year.
Please note that this series of events has been organised by the Wellcome Library, and will take place in the Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection.
Art, Power and the Asylum: exploring the Adamson Collection
What is the value of art created in the asylum? Who does it belong to and how should it be used?
Join contributors from the fields of mental health, art, libraries and ethics for a series of intimate discussions exploring value, power and identity, and shape how the Adamson Collection is framed.
The events will taking place in the Reading Room at Wellcome Collection and are drop-in events. First-come-first-seated – places are limited.
Naming the Unnamed
Tuesday 18th July, 15.00-16.00 (viewing of selected paintings, 14.00-15.00)
Should artists be named, or should they remain unnamed patients? Join Val Huet (BAAT), Michael Barham (Dramatherapist), Fiona Johnstone (Birkbeck) and Marie-France (ex- service user) to explore issues of sensitivity, identity and agency.
The ‘A’ Word
Thursday 20th July, 19.00-20.00 (viewing of selected paintings, 18.00-19.00)
Is work from the asylum art or medical record? What art history period does it fit into, if any? Join Beth Elliot (Bethlem Gallery), Marc Steene (Outside In) and Lamis Bayar (Dragon Café) to discuss how art from the asylum (and beyond) can be framed, and the value of terms such as Outsider Art and Art Brut.
Photography will be taking place during this event. Please speak to a member of staff for further information.
Read the Wellcome Library’s blog post about this event:
CALL OUT to fine artists/film makers, zine makers, mental health activists.
Is film making part of your creative practice?
*Collective//Pod are looking for submissions for ‘30seconds3minute30filmDIALOGUE‘, a ground-breaking FilmZine which will celebrate contemporary practice, capture the provocative and vanguard, and speak of the art of DIALOGUE.
Film submissions can be either 30 seconds or 3 minutes and need to be HD Resolution. Please see the technical specifications which are at the end of this call out. Work can be new or old as long as it fits the brief.
Descriptive words: Dialogue, Art Activism, Protest, Vanguard, Provocative.
A total of 30films will be selected by the panel which includes Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE 2017 festival Ambassador British Contemporary Artist Stuart Semple and Collective//Pod. Selected films will be collated into a FilmZine by award winning film maker and associate of the Pod ‘Baileyface Productions‘.
30seconds3minute30film-DIALOGUE will be premiered at the END//BEGIN – DIALOGUE exhibition in City Arcadia Gallery on Monday October 9th 2017.
Closing date for submissions is 21st August 2017. Artists included in the film Zine will be credited in the festival program and associated publicity. Submissions need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
30seconds3minute30filmDIALOGUE will be launched on Monday 9th October as part of Scratch the Surface- DIALOGUE festival.
*Collective//Pod is an artist collective, the members, the majority of whom have experienced severe and enduring mental ill health (bi-polar, schizophrenia, psychosis), forge relationships with local, national and international artists across creative platforms and genres.
Submissions to be sent digitally or video links from vimeo/youtube too.
HD Resolution: 1280×720 (720p, 16:9 aspect ratio) or 1920×1080 (1080p, 16×9 aspect ratio)
We cannot accept films that are not the filmmakers/artists original work, including music and audio. Submissions are free.
So how much DIALOGUE can fit into 30seconds? If you’re not applying yourself, please do share with fellow artists, activists and film makers.
Please follow the Scratch the Surface-DIALOGUE events page: DIALOGUE
Launch event 21 June 2017, 6 – 8:30pm Continues 21-25 June 2017
Dates: 21-25 June 2017 Pop-up Venue: 264 Globe Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 0JD Nearest tube station: Bethnal Green – Central Line Opening times: Wednesday – Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 11am-4pm FREE entrance
“I am happiest when I am working and by working I mean drawing.”
Masao Obata (b.1943) only started drawing whilst in his residential care facility in Japan after the age of 60. Raised by his grandmother, Obata moved around many institutions before settling at Hyogo Prefecture for a longer period of time. His strong urge to create led him to source large cardboard pieces to draw on from the kitchens in his facility, as paper was not strong enough for him and he was concerned it would rip easily.
In the facility Obata could be found night after night continuously drawing often on both sides of the cardboard, completing one piece of work each night. He produced thousands of drawings before his passing in 2010, but many were disposed of by the facility that, in the beginning, had not recognised the artistic value of his work.
Often creating in red pencil, Obata stated that for him this was the colour of happiness and fulfillment. The major themes in Obata’s work include family and marriage, both of which eluded Obata during his lifetime. He did on occasions say that the works featuring a man, a woman and a child were himself and his parents, and that he missed them profusely.
Women were often depicted wearing earrings and necklaces, whilst men were known to be featured wearing ties. His drawings also featured a characteristic attention to detail when depicting genitalia in his representations of humans. Other themes included things he observed: vehicles, landscapes and plants.
This exhibition is the first by the Jennifer Lauren Gallery and the first solo exhibition for the late Masao Obata. Bringing together 15 works on cardboard, along with a film of Obata working, it is hoped that many will get to enjoy Obata’s playful works.
“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.
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 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.”