art therapy

Installation viewing with added mince pies!

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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.

Paintings & Words by Sarah Tansey

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Sarah Tansey is an artist, writer, burlesque art model and cabaret dancer. She’s also a single mum to an eighteen year old, who found herself in the clutches of paranoid schizophrenia when her son was just nine months old. Waiting until he was an adult to tell her story, Sarah has published a short, cutting, insight into her life at the time.

The book is illustrated with Sarah’s paintings, and she tells me, “The artwork in the book is all mine – I use it as part of my recovery, when I have my ‘blips’. I consider my artwork to be expressionist/abstract. I work in all sorts of mediums, whatever I feel like learning at that time. Learning is such a great thing to do to boost those brain cells! I am currently working on a seascape.”

Image gallery at the end of this post, below book information. Thank you Sarah for sending us your book, and telling us about you.

Book Information:
BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON – INSIDE A SCHIZOPHRENIC MIND
“By the Light of the Silvery Moon is an open and honest account of developing and living with paranoid schizophrenia.”

“An ordinary girl arrives in London in the 1990s with unclear aspirations but with a determination to enjoy life. Following a turbulent relationship, which includes the heavy use of recreational drugs, the writer develops paranoid schizophrenia. This is her story, told with humour and insight, a story of coping with the disease, and meeting the challenges of raising a son. Told with warmth and insight, By the Light of the Silvery Moon shows that there is hope and a future for those suffering with schizophrenia. The story is interspersed with photographs of the author’s paintings completed as a component of art therapy.”

Available here.

Spirit Parlour at Free Space Gallery

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What: Exhibition and workshops
Where: Free Space Gallery, Kentish Town, London
When:Opening Night: Wednesday 11th November, show runs 2-27/11/15

Artist in residence Philly Hunt showcases her work in progress, ‘Spirit Parlour’, on the theme of ‘safe spaces’, identity, memory and talismans.

The show and workshops are an extension of Philly’s personal experiences. Philly says “I have suffered with chronic anxiety for 7 years, and severe depression at times. Last summer I began a course of hypnotherapy, having tried CBT to no avail. Everything has changed completely for me, and I am overcoming my anxiety and depression very well. Previously, I never dreamed of being able to take on a residency like this, to do a show, and run workshops.”

We’ll be dropping in to see Philly this week, and speak to her about how hypnotherapy has helped to change her life and overcome her problems with anxiety and depression, as well as taking part in her workshop at Free Space Gallery this Friday. For more information about the Talisman workshops, please click this link, and scroll down to Friday 13th November. Philly is running a series of three workshops, starting this Friday.

Free Space Gallery are asking for everyone reading to please “join us for the open evening for a chance to meet the artist Wednesday 11th November 6.30 – 9pm .

We hope to see you there!

World Mental Health Day: Create an outdoor installation with us!

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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.

Event: Art & Music for the Mind, Kingston

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‘Sound 1’

What: Art & Music for the Mind
When: Saturday 10th October, 2015
Where: All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames (see FB link for full details)

Artist TEMPOK got in touch to let us know he is taking part in Kingston Mental Health Festival in support of World Mental Health day on Saturday October 10th, and to share some paintings he created during a workshop in the run-up to this event.

Take a look at the Facebook event page here: Art & Music Festival for the Mind

TEMPOK says his paintings in this post were created whilst “listening to classical music and painting, drawing”, resulting in “an idea inspired by Wassily Kandinsky.”


‘Sound 2’

He goes on to explain that, comically, “not only was there a radio playing pop music in the cafe next door, but everyone was passionately discussing urinals and unmade beds in the actual room, so that didn’t work out too well!” However, despite the distractions, “the interesting thing was that by having this atmosphere of bustling friendliness all around, I felt very nourished and that in itself inspired me to paint these pictures!”


‘Sound 3’

TEMPOK wants to help give the festival a boost the this year, “as, last year, it was dampened by the rain, and it’d be nice if lots of people came to enjoy it this year. Plus, 20% of all sales go to the charity Mind so it’s for a good cause – not to mention giving the artists and musicians, marginalised through mental distress, some well-deserved exposure!

More information can be found on the Mind in Kingston site…
“This year sees the first Kingston Mental Health Festival which celebrates World Mental Health day by holding a range of events for local people. As well as the Mind in Kingston’s annual Arts & Music Festival there will be talks, coffee mornings and wellbeings to suit everyone.

Organisations taking part include: Learn English at Home (LEAH), Kingston Voluntary Action (KVA), Fircroft Trust, Kingston Libraries, Public Health Kingston, RBK Equality & Community Engagement Team and Mind in Kingston.

For a full listings of events, please click here to download the programme (PDF format), or go to the Events Page here.

Exhibition: Exploring the unconscious, Freud Museum

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What: Art exhibition,’someunconsciousthings’
When: Ends 4th October, 2015
Where: The Freud Museum, London

Running until 4 October 2015, the exhibition someunconsciousthings is a collection of art works and writing on what Goldsmiths’ experienced art therapists understand the unconscious to be, both individually and as a group.

Explore the unconscious at the Freud Museum, 8 September

Four years of research and creation by Goldsmiths, University of London art psychotherapists comes together at a special evening event at the Freud Museum on Tuesday 8 September.

All are welcome at the museum from 6-8pm on the 8th, to hear speakers from our Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies discuss their project, just email susan.williams@gold.ac.uk to reserve your place.

Tutors on our MA Art Psychotherapy programme have used aspects of art therapy practice to explore their individual and collective understanding of the unconscious. While Freud’s essays were in part written as a response to scepticism of the concept; Goldsmiths researchers explore its contested relevance to contemporary art therapy practice.

Art practice in art therapy is given shape by its simultaneous involvement of artist, viewer and curator and its boundaries of time, space and materials. The drama takes place within contexts such as hospitals, schools, prisons and hospices; the players are positioned in relationships of power and unconscious and conscious processes can be explored.

“The project interacts with student learning in that we model a way of using art and writing to explore themes related to our therapeutic work,” Dr Sally Skaife, Senior Lecturer in Art Psychotherapy, explains.

“The collaborative nature of the project is important too; we make art and write separately, and then come together to explore our similarities and differences as we develop the social implications embedded in Freud’s understanding of the unconscious.”

The collective has exhibited twice previously, at the 15th European Symposium in Group Analysis at Goldsmiths in 2011, and the International Art Therapy Conference at Goldsmiths in 2013.

‘someunconsciousthings’ at the Freud Museum runs until 4 October 2015 featuring work by Christopher Brown, Kristen Catchpole, Annamaria Cavaliero, Diana Kagiafa, Jon Martyn, Lesley Morris, Lisa Rimmer, Susan Rudnik, Sally Skaife, Robin Tipple, Diana Velada, Jill Westwood.

Visit:
The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX
Wednesday – Sunday 12.00 – 17.00
Mondays until 24 August
Exhibitions are free with admission.
http://www.freud.org.uk

Find out more about Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths.

Guardian Interview

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Mental Spaghetti founder, Marie-Louise Plum, and MS Comrade, John Hegley, were recently interviewed by Laura Barton of The Guardian. Please check out the article here – there’s some lively debate in the comments section, feel free to add your thoughts!