Exhibition: The Fabric of Being

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. 

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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.

Spirit Parlour at Free Space Gallery

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!