What: Exhibition – The Fabric of Being
When: 22 February – 17 March 2017, open Weds-Fri, 10am-5pm
Where: Bethlem Gallery, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3BX. Map
Terence Wilde, long time Mental Spaghetti collaborator and artist, and Bethlem Gallery present the textile works and processes of artists, patients and staff from the occupational Therapy department at Bethlem Royal Hospital, in an exhibition titled The Fabric of Being.
The Fabric of being considers the social and therapeutic value of individual and collective textile making.
“Fabric is defined as cloth, or the basic framework of something. An example of fabric is cotton. Another example is family; our family is the fabric of life.”- A dictionary definition of fabric
The textiles studio of the Occupational Therapy department at Bethlem Royal Hospital is a unique space that provides regular supported opportunities for patients to make, mend, sew and knit together. Once set-up with materials and a project, the repetitive act of sewing or knitting can allow space for conversation; facilitating a rhythm of communication between makers around the table.
Terence Wilde, Technical Instructor in the Occupational Therapy department’s textiles and art studios at Bethlem Royal Hospital who curated this exhibition says:
“I’m interested in the symbolic meaning of unpicking, taking things apart to reveal the raw thing underneath; the true nature of them. Mending things by taking them apart and exposing the structure to understand them. Unpicking, sewing and mending are similar in process to those found in therapy.”
The Fabric of Being features a wide range of textile works that shows the diverse interests and skills of the makers involved, from paper and fabric lanterns to hanging works, felt work, stitching, weaving and binding. Some works use personal and family sourced fabrics imbued with rich social histories; their personal narratives are woven through and into fabric works.
The Occupational Therapy programme at Bethlem Royal Hospital offers a wide choice of creative and practical activities which give people recovering from mental health issues the opportunity to rekindle old skills, learn from new experiences and build their confidence on their path to recovery. The department has extensive purpose built studios and workshops and the activities available include Art, Pottery, Woodwork, Textiles, Gardening, Jewellery Making, Music, Dance and Drama.
Join artist and curator, Terence Wilde, for a fabric and paper lantern making workshop on Saturday March 4th, 11am-1pm. Book your tickets via eventbrite.
Free entry – all welcome. Gallery and Museum of the Mind open first and last Saturday every month.
2016, despite its infamy as a problematic and troublesome year, brought us many positives and much pleasure in the form of large scale group exhibitions, our first ‘Spaghetti School’ residency at Free Space Gallery, and working with some of our favourite comrades on exciting new projects designed to spark debate and question closed answers.
We worked as part of the Roving Diagnostic Unit (see photo, right), for Bobby Baker’s Daily Life Ltd., which saw us carrying out performances and workshops at the William Morris Gallery, Vestry House Museum and the Wellcome collection, for the Diagnosing Diagnosis symposium to accompany their latest exhibition, ‘Bedlam’. The workshops were designed to make people think about diagnosis and what it means. Our workshop, A Diagnostic Portrait of…, had participants team up to draw large scale portraits of their patients (objects in situ at Vestry House) using only character descriptors.
Our own exhibition output last year was bumper – we had a large group show to kick things off at Menier Gallery, followed by two more exhibitions in London, co-curated with The Dragon Café and Uncooked Cultures, plus a co-curated exhibition with AIMS, at the Oxford Museum and Town Hall Gallery. Over 20o artists were promoted through these exhibitions, with many of them selling work and gaining further professional exhibitions through the exposure of our shows. To date, (since 2011), we have reached an audience of over 10,000 online, shown the work of over 200 artists to a physical audience of 1,000+, and worked closely with 10 artists to mentor and support their practice.
Workshops have covered printmaking, sculpture, collage, alternative ways of drawing, and a collaboration with artist and photographer, Catriona Gray, to deliver a series of photographic mixed media workshops at Free Space Gallery, Kentish Town. The photos below show collage work, the process of lumen exposure photography, and the final outcome of combining the lumen technique with printmaking. All workshops are free, supported by the ever excellent Kentish Town Improvement Fund and Free Space Gallery. Extra support in the form of volunteers comes from Clean Break.
2017 – onwards!
First up, January 23, we have a printmaking workshop at The Dragon Café for Broken Grey Wires. If you already know the Dragon Café, you’ll know that spaces are limited, and you must be registered with them to take part. The workshop starts at 3pm.
Next, we are over the moon to be working with the young people of Snowsfield Adolescent Unit at the South London and Maudsley Hospital. Work to start in February, and while it is only open to residents at SLaM, we will report back with our artistic endeavours.
Spaghetti School will be starting again in March, and continuing in 5 week blocks throughout the year. Keep your eye on the blog for news to come!
We’ve got loads of new artists to update you with, so make sure you are following the blog and all good social media outlets (you know the ones, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to keep up to date with who’s doing what.
Finally, Happy New Year, everyone!
Ed, Edd Martin Okoli
What: Writing workshop
When: Tuesday 14th June
Where: Brunswick East, Gillett Street, Dalston, N16 8JH
A writing workshop using exercises to help stimulate creativity, explore one’s self, be a bit playful, and enhance a sense of wellbeing.
7pm, Tuesday 14th June
The Exchange @ Brunswick East – 3D Stamford Works
Gillett Street, Dalston
Workshop is free, but please do purchase from the café and bar, and consider a donation.
More information below flyer…
Borderline Arts raise awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder and empower those with with the condition and their care-givers/loved one. We are the only BPD-specific charity in the UK and have some exciting FREE activities coming up…
Therapeutic Art Group
This is an informal space, where those affected with BPD can get creative and express themselves in a safe environment, run by an Art Therapist. The sessions are from 10.30-12pm at 119 Osmaston Road, Derby on the following dates: Jan 16 & 30, Feb 13 & 27, March 12 and one more date tba). You can find more information here and on the attached poster.
Creative Writing Workshop
We’re holding a free day-long creative writing workshop on Monday 25th January 2016 for those with or affected by BPD. It will be held at 119 Osmaston Road, Derby from 10am – 4pm. The qualified creative writing workshop facilitator will help participants to create a piece(s) of writing/poetry to express their experience of BPD. There is the potential of the pieces of writing being compiled into a booklet, but only if participants wish to do this. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place! You can find further information on the attached flyer.
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.
What: Workshops to create an outdoor installation
Where: Freespace Gallery, 2 Bartholomew Road, London, NW5
When: Friday 9th, 16th and 23rd October
In celebration and support of World Mental Health Day 2015 , in collaboration with Free Space Gallery, and in support of the Mental Health Foundation, we will be constructing a plaster of paris outdoor installation which will live in the Well-beeing Garden at Free Space Gallery.
Join us from 2-5pm on the 9th, 16th and 23rd October to design, create and install plaster representations of your memories – good, or bad. Our memories will be cast in the style of ex-voto offerings, a votive offering left at shrines of deities, saints or divinities. In the latin world ex-votos are left in a ‘wishing’ way, perhaps to mend a broken foot, or to ask for the blessing of a child, to cure an unwell heart or even to ask for your local football team to win a game. You can read more about ex-voto offerings here.
We will be casting our memory-related objects, then install them on plinths to display to all visiting Free Space Gallery. The art objects will start life as a small shape, cast from a mould, then carved into either something figurative, such as a body part, or representation of someone dear, or something symbolic, perhaps a shape relating to a special memory. In leaving these offerings, we will either be celebrating a fond memory, representing something or someone special to us, or casting free bad experiences or troubles.
Ex-voto offerings from around the world.
All materials will be provided, but please, if possible, bring an apron or wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty (although nothing will stain!). We will be using the following materials: plaster of paris, water, acrylic paint, craft knives, files, surforms and sandpaper.
Tickets are free, as usual, although you must book your space. To reserve a space on the three workshops, or, if you can’t make all three, a particular workshop, sign up on our events page at Eventbrite. If you have any problems with signing up, send us an email and we can help.