Guardian Interview

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!


Mental Spaghetti Roadshow at Studio 3 Arts, Barking, London.

What: Workshops and exhibition
Where: Studio 3 Arts, Boundary Road, Barking, IG11 7JR. Tel: 020 8594 7136
When: See workshop information, below.

We’re hitting the road again, Jack, and this time we’re in Barking, East London, at the bloody marvellous community arts hub, Studio 3 Arts!

From Monday 6 July until Friday 24 July 2015 we present to you, dear readers, a series of creative arts workshops and a three week exhibition featuring the work of Jan Arden, Marie-Louise Plum, Lazz Ozerden and David Feingold.


Our first week sees poet and comedian, John Hegley, leading a creative writing and drawing workshop – different from the one we just put on at Kentish Town Health centre, although, those of you who attended that workshop may very well want to come to this one too. The workshops run from 1-4pm on Tuesday 7 July, and 10am-1pm on Thursday 9 July, with a one hour plaster casting session before the creative writing and drawing starts. If you do not want to come to the future plaster workshop, you are welcome to arrive at 2pm and 11am respectively.
Free tickets here: Tuesday session / Thursday session.

Creative writing and drawing workshop

Week two is printmaking week, with Sue Royle.
Sue has been a Foundation Art lecturer, professional printmaker and painter for many years, having also had a successful career in illustration. Following on from what you have learnt and produced with John Hegley, we will focus on themes already explored and produce small woodcut relief prints with oil based ink. This session runs from 2-5pm.
Free tickets here: Tuesday session / Thursday session.

Plaster casting in a workshop

In the third week you will be working under the guidance of our lead artist, Marie-Louise Plum. In response to the prints you have made with Sue Royle, we will carve into, burnish and decorate plaster of paris sculpture forms. Please note, we will be casting these forms in the first hour of the John Hegley workshop in week one. This session runs from 2-5pm.
Free tickets here: Tuesday session / Thursday session.

A quick note to bear in mind about the workshops – we are doing two of the same workshop per week, a repetition, not an extension of the first in the week. By all means, if you’d like to come to all six workshops, please do, but we will be doing the same activity in the second workshop of the week. If you are keen to make as much work as you can, then you are welcome to come to both, or if you would like to continue developing the skills you learnt in the first.

We must stress, you will likely have some extra attention while the class is working away, perhaps learn a new technique or two, but you will be expected to carry on your work from the first workshop while the others in the group, who have not yet done the activity, will be learning what you have already done. Okay? Good!

The outcome of attending all three (or six, if you so wish) workshops is a small body of portfolio standard work which you will be able to add to your existing portfolio, or put towards creating one. We will do a follow-up workshop where you can photograph and mount your work, assisted by Marie-Louise Plum. You will be able to photograph all your work, and take your creations home with you.

All workshops are free of charge, limited to ten people per workshop. We have kept the numbers smaller this time so we can give each person more one-to-one attention in the workshops.

If you would like to download the PDF press release with all the information of the exhibition and workshops, click here.


Our Barking exhibition features work from Jan Arden, Marie-Louise Plum, Lazz Ozerden and David Feingold. Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 09:30-17:30
Private View: Friday 10th July, 6-9pm – all welcome.

‘Wrestling with the Bull’, Jan Arden

Jan Arden: Jan will be exhibiting large scale detailed shamanistic drawings, combining Celtic knot-work with African faces and south American Shamanistic Aztec priests,  peoples, animals, symbols and shapes. He creates what he sees on the paper after moving the Biro in dance-like movements, eyes closed and reaching into the subconscious for inspiration and guidance. With no formal training Jan considers himself an Outsider Artist, unbridled and free to express all that he needs through the medium of his artistic talent. Jan was born in Dublin, Ireland, of mixed Irish Dominican parentage and weaves together the cultural style and artistic influences of his heritage.

’12 Months’, Marie-Louise Plum

Marie-Louise Plum: Marie will be exhibiting a variety of drawing, paint and collage, and her collection of illustrated masks, all focusing on themes of collecting, preservation, letting go, memory, mental states, sense of self and identity. Marie-Louise is a multidisciplinary artist whose work takes shape as long-term, thoroughly documented research projects which more often than not follow themes of social alienation, personal boundaries, subversion, ambiguity and mortality. Marie does this through the medium of drawing, painting, collage and collecting. She also builds and makes objects and site-specific, interactive installations.

‘Heaven Running Down to Hell’, Lazz Ozerden

Lazz Ozerden: Lazz will be exhibiting his acrylic paintings on canvas, “a place to scream into, just like into a night sky, the lover to make love with, the runaway place, the shadow in the dark that brings me light and makes me free.” He “paints mainly to get rid of my demons or dream about ‘The Women’.”

‘Seeing the Light’, David Feingold

David Feingold: David, a ‘visual designer’, will be exhibiting his digital collages. He has found a way to turn pain into pictures and anguish into art – which he calls Disability Art – in the form of digital visual assemblages. “My art is inseparable from my visceral experience of life with bipolar disorder, seizure disorder and ADHD, stemming from a pedestrian car accident. Fortunately, I was the pedestrian, not the driver. The driver has likely amassed his/her fair share of bad karma for leaving the scene of the accident—and me, unconscious. In a world made personal through the lens of my impairments, I have found a way to communicate my innermost feelings about the self behind the impairments; the self behind the cognitive and emotional deficits; the self behind the sometimes disparaged social persona. My art exposes and expresses not only my vulnerabilities, but my defiance in succumbing to the slippery slope of despair. Thus, nested in my disability remains my strongest ability — hope.

Haiku for Hieronymous

Mental Spaghetti recently visited the Single Homeless Project in Westminster to deliver a short creative writing workshop for its clients, in anticipation of our event with John Hegley on Friday May 15.

As we only had half an hour for the workshop, we wrote haiku relating to sections of heavenly and hellish scenes of the ambitious Hieronymous Bosch masterpiece, the Garden of Earthly delights.

Participants were encouraged to select particular features of the painting that resonated with them; seeking out the complex , detailed vignettes, the scenes within the scenes.

The only rule we stuck to was the syllable rule of 5,7,5 for each haiku.

Have a read through the fruits of our labour below! Big thanks to Caroleen and everyone at SHP Westminster.

Haiku for Hieronymous…

Rabbit man with claw
Who is on the telephone?
It’s your mum she’s dead

Buildings made of bone
Human animal
Artistic puppets

Wings a knife an ear
Bodies laying on the ground
Arrows attacking

Beat your drum blue lizard
Triangle rings up above
Man looks out in fear

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 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!

Workshop: John Hegley creative writing & drawing

Spaghetti & The Yeti: 3 hour creative writing & drawing workshop – 15/05/15 – Buy tickets


Mental Spaghetti, the art and creativity in mental health organisation, joins forces with Free Space Gallery to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 with a drawing and creative writing workshop from poet and comedian, Mr John Hegley!

“John Hegley is a regular sell-out at The Edinburgh Festival. He has performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival, the USA Comedy Festival in Aspen, with Ulrika Jonsson & Anita Dobson in The Pyjama Game and on BBC R4’s Hearing With Hegley.

John Hegley is widely known as one of the country’s most innovative comic poets with several best-selling volumes of poetry to his name.”

A 3 hour creative arts session with John (with a 30 minute break), expect talking, laughing, thinking and drawing! We provide the materials, you provide yourselves. The rest is a surprise!
Please note workshop times: 2pm for 2:30pm start, 3:15pm 30 minute break (refreshments provided), 6pm finish.

There is a gallery at the venue, and Mental Spaghetti/Free Space Gallery organisers and artists will be around for a while after the workshop if you’d like to chat and view any work on show.
More info about John Hegley:

John has just embarked on his Spring/Summer tour so catch these potatoes while they’re hot!*

Facebook event page

*(hint: that’s a nod to his now-touring show, New & Selected Potatoes, tickets here:

Brought to you by &