Scratch the Surface Festival: BE Music ‘A Symphony of Bee and Man’
For the past six months, Mental Spaghetti has been working with Collective//Pod, of The Pod, Coventry, supporting the upcoming Mental Health Arts festival, Scratch the Surface: Dialogue.
The festival runs September 30th – October 10th, World Mental Health Day, and will present a varied and rolling programme of visual arts, performance, and participatory projects. Artists and full programme will be announced later in the month, but for now I’d like to announce BE Music, by internationally renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress (whose work you may have previously experienced at Kew Gardens).
A unique concert will be creating a buzz in Coventry to celebrate World Mental Health Day!
Internationally renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress and music ensemble BE are set to bring a performance with a difference to Coventry Cathedral – they will be accompanied by 50,000 bees. BE will perform their critically acclaimed album “ONE” featuring a live-streamed chorus of 50,000 bees from a hive within the Cathedral grounds.
An integral part of the performance will be hosted by a bespoke community choir engineered and choreographed by the Pod’s Collective//Pod, an artist collective derived by members with lived experience of mental ill health. The Pod is Coventry City Council’s award winning mental health resource and creative hub.
The event, being held on Saturday, October 7 at 7.30pm, is part of Collective//Pod’s annual mental health arts festival “Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE” and is being supported by Coventry Cathedral.
BE was formed as a collaboration between Wolfgang Buttress, musicians Tony Foster, Kev Bales, Deirdre Bencsik, Camille Christel and scientist Dr Martin Bencsik, who is undertaking cutting-edge research using accelerometers embedded in beehives.
The accelerometers, devices which are sensitive to tiny vibrations, will be used to livestream the sounds from the bee hive into the Cathedral during the performance.
Visual projections, including images from the project and live footage from the hive, will also be screened, and specially-created candles scented with botanicals from the Cathedral and essential oils from the new bee hive will be used to create a multi-sensory atmosphere.
The bees are already within the grounds of the Cathedral in preparation for the event, and the hive will remain there as a lasting legacy.
“Coventry Cathedral is an amazing space with an incredible history, so it is an honour to be performing there. It will be a very moving and powerful performance, and using bees based in the grounds will give the audience a real sense that what is happening is live. We weren’t scheduled to perform this year, however when we were approached to be part of a concert celebrating World Mental Health Day it really resonated with us and it’s wonderful that we are able to contribute.”
– Wolfgang Buttress
The event is supporting Coventry’s bid to be the UK City of Culture 2021. The bid is being led by Coventry City of Culture Trust and, if successful, would bring social, cultural and economic benefits to the city.
Coventry is now on the shortlist along with four other cities, and will submit a final bid in September before the decision is announced in December.
The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, added: “We look forward to welcoming BE and the choir for what will be a truly unique performance to celebrate World Mental Health Day. A performance featuring bees has never been staged at the Cathedral before, and demonstrates the diversity of the events that we hold. It’s also nice to have another 50,000 parishioners in the grounds, which will remain here permanently following the concert!”
“ONE” is the soundscape for Wolfgang Buttress’s multi award-winning sculpture The Hive, currently sited in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, which seeks to highlight the importance of the honey bee in the food chain and their plight as a species.
Since recording the album, BE has gone on to appear at festivals including Glastonbury, Bluedot Caught by the River and End of the Road and perform sell-out shows at Kew, Sonos Studios and St Mary’s Church, in Nottingham.
The critically acclaimed “ONE” was in the best album list of 2016 of The Guardian, Rough Trade and The Quietus.
More about BE can be found by visiting www.beeandman.com.
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:
You can view the Adamson Collection online:
The Jennifer Lauren Gallery is proud to present
Masao Obata: Drawing Happiness in Red
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
“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.
Ana Pallares, born in Barcelona in 1993, is a self-taught artist, whose practice reflects on pain, death and other intangible realities which all too often occur with little reason.
Ana says, “I strive to find, and attach, new meanings to these realities, hoping to present them in a healthier, more manageable way – ultimately aiming to turn destructive feelings into constructive action.”
She also portrays characters that she is intellectually, emotionally or sexually attracted to. She has exhibited in Barcelona, Madrid and London, at The Hundred Years Gallery, The Brick Lane Gallery, Lacey Contemporary, Walton Fine Arts and the Illustrated Art Fair, 2016.
Ana’s first solo shows appeared in London last year, at The Hundred Years Gallery and Ziferblat. She has occasionally worked as an illustrator for digital culture magazines.
“TRAGICOMEDY” BY ANA PALLARES
In this online exhibition you will find a collection of works that Ana Pallares created between 2015 and 2016. The works were done using Posca markers and acrylic paints on paper or linen.
Universe with its galaxies.
Galaxies with their planets.
Planets with their countries.
Countries with their cities.
Cities with their humans.
Humans with their problems.
Problems with their causes.
Causes with their context.
Ana Pallares with all these stuff inside her head to she’s getting crazy because she has a universe on her mind.
See more from Ana at her Tumblr site, Instagram and Facebook profiles. If you would like to contact Ana, you can do so, here.
Images below from Ana Pallares solo show at The Hundred Years Gallery.
all words and artwork, ©Derek Collins. If you would like to get in touch with Derek, please email us.
I ain’t sure if this makes sense… but I reckon “sense” is a commodity I bartered long long many moons time ago…
Am a epileptic ex-junkie word wranglin’
music manglin’ monad…
presentin’ these pictorial pustules…a pair of perfidious polyps
funnelled through the cold slops of
a broken soul
bolstered + procured by profound
isolation I place my gifts upon yr altar
all my futile generosities, straight from the
id, tremblin’ n naked on the barren shores of a post-addictive alienated consciousness…
image 1: the symptom pool
“the Terrible Mother, the vagina dentata, the Fury, Lilith, Justine the Hag, Babylon the castrating harlot, The Venusian conspiracy…”
image 2: the girl who lived on heaven hill
“the Great Mother, the nurturing anima, The Madonna, The daughters of the heart, Christabel, Juliette, The Yin, La Femme…”
d+sea the otherorganism awaits…
I walk on mirrored angles
broken light insists
I must cross these frozen borders
and upon strange circuits
they melt but persist…
The Arches Project is a place that offers a platform for creative talents of all disciplines, to gain experience and exposure to become employable within their industry, by showcasing the work in an exciting and unique space within the Birmingham art scene.
We are currently seeking work for an exhibition called ‘Reflected Realities’, which aims to explore the differences between what people think and see.
We are looking for works that are sculpture, installation, collage, mixed media, 3D and 2D work.
The deadline for submission is 21st April 2017 and the exhibition will run from 9th June 2017.
We would really like to involve artists who have experience with mental health and can therefore offer a unique perspective of their own reflected reality in a creative way.
To apply, see poster, below.