Art venture helps “break down significant stigma and shame surrounding an illness that kills 1 in 10 of those diagnosed” says project founder.
Vulnerable residents battling Borderline Personality Disorder have found new hope through an unprecedented art project in Derby, founded by an individual who has been close to losing her life to the illness several times.
Local Charity ‘Borderline Arts’ is excited to launch ‘Enigma’ – an art exhibition aiming to break down stigma surrounding a severe mental health condition called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This exhibition is made up of artwork created by people with BPD. The artists have worked with support artists from the local community to help create images, paintings, sculptural pieces and poetry. The artwork expresses many aspects of living with BPD which the artists felt important to share. There is also a collaborative interactive, installation piece made by several of the artists.
Sarah Eley (who founded Borderline Arts) said ‘Borderline Arts began as a small idea of using the artwork that I’d created to express how it felt to live with BPD to somehow help others understand the condition more. I’d experienced so much stigma because of having a diagnosis of BPD and all that went with it. I was often scared to seek help when (especially medical help), as many of the attitudes I experienced caused me to leave feeling more unwell than before. Many times, this lead to further self harm or attempted suicide. 1 in 10 people with BPD die from suicide and I believe that this number would be considerably less if people felt they were able to access support when they need it, without being judged.’
After exhibiting her own artwork at Artcore’s Gallery in Derby, Sarah felt like she had found a voice and she wanted to give other people with BPD the opportunity to do the same. ‘Enigma’ is a direct result of that. Taking part in this exhibition has been an empowering experience for many of the artists, who can often feel very isolated and misunderstood: ’Being involved in this exhibition gave me the chance to use creativity to understand my condition more. I got to meet others with the same diagnosis, sharing feelings and ideas. Being a part of the Enigma exhibition has enabled me to to become less isolated and to feel part of a team, whilst also giving me a chance to help achieve our common goal of raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding BPD’.
Steve Trenchard (Chief Executive of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust) will be opening the launch evening on Monday 20th April from 7-9pm at Quad, Market Place, Derby. Wine and nibbles will be available to purchase from the Bar. The exhibition will remain open until 25th should you be unable to make the opening evening, but still wish to visit the exhibition at another time. The opening hours are: Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th: 12am – 8pm. More information can be found on our website: www.borderlinearts.org.uk or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last night I went to a private view of Terence Wilde’s work at Highgate Mental Health Centre. I was lucky enough to meet up with Terence, a charming man with a super sense of style. He used to be a fashion print designer but gave it up due to the demands of the job. Terence now works at Bethlem Hospital. He is also an ex-service user. Terence says his “paintings reflect tortuously working my way through life from the perspective of an adult survivor”. He also described drawing as ‘trepanning without the drilling’, one of the best and dryly funny descriptions of art as therapy that I have ever heard.
‘Tell Me About your Childhood!’
Terence is exhibiting paintings and illustration at the gallery in Highgate, and the show will be running until May 10th. There will be a special closing event for the show which I will be blogging about nearer the time.
‘In the Counting House’
Terence describes creativity “as a healing tool, emotionally to describe, spiritually to make sense of. The process of self-acceptance, of being comfortable in your own skin, is the stem of my creative processes; it has enabled me to function in a healthier, true place.”
Terence’s paintings are awesome and if you can make it please do go and check out the exhibition. My favourite work on display is the illustration but I am biased since illustration is my thing. I did take photographs but they didn’t come out very well so for now I am going to put a load of his artworks from his website up. When I go back to the exhibition I will take some better photos and put them up here.
Please check out Terence’s website here. If you would like to order prints or artwork please get in touch with Terence directly through his website contact details.
If you would like to visit the exhibition, the address is Highgate Mental Health Centre, Darthmouth Park Hill Highgate, London N19 5NX, Tel: 020 7561 4000. Please call them to find out opening times.
“Life is an unravelling of self/A skill learned/A road travelled without a map/Living life is an art form/Like origami in reverse”
-Terence Wilde, September 2005
‘Swan Lake Revisited’
‘Beloved (Kate Bush’s Angel)’
‘Case of Casey’s Vespers’
‘Don’t Look Under the Bed’
‘Bette Davis Angel’
‘Do I Look Fat in This?’
‘The Girl with Hoopla Hair’
Silvis Rivers, known as “Pillvis Depressely” to friends, is an artist particularly interested in illustrations, poetry and photography. He also has some amazing sculpture work. I found him through the blog Birmingham User Watch, an “Independent Occasionally Very Satired View Of Mental Health NHS Issues As Well As Those Further Afield”. His illustration series ‘The Purple Bunny Plan’ and ‘HSJ Mogger’ caught my eye and are definitely worth investigating further. You can do this by going to his Flickr profile and also employing the trusty Google machine to find out what else he is up to (the Highcroft Lifebook Film is very interesting as is ‘The Highcroft Lifebook Project & African Masks’, a project ‘In Remembrance Of My Family Of 18 Who Suffered In The Workhouse And Mental Hospital’).
Images from ‘The Highcroft Lifebook Project & African Masks’
Today I’d like to turn your attention to the rather amazing blog ‘Art Therapy’. I check in with it every day to find out the latest art therapy news. It is an invaluable source for service users, art therapists, learners, facilitators and the simply interested.
On the blog you’ll find featured artists, posts by specialist practitioners, interviews, news stories and links to fascinating articles and documentaries. Make sure you do visit the Art Therapy blog by going to www.arttherapyblog.com.
I’m off to a special private view tonight at Highgate Mental Health Centre. Will report back with pictures and a write-up.
“HealthScreen”: Understanding Illness through Film
MedFest 2012 is a FREE film festival, which will tour the UK in February/March 2012. Its target audience is primarily medical students, but we expect to welcome a range of health professionals, as well as members of the public, and indeed our patients.
Films provide a powerful medium for entertainment, but also education. Public opinion is drastically swayed by moving images in the form of adverts, documentaries, public health campaigns and feature films.
The remit of MedFest 2012 is to provoke debate of the social, political and ethical implications of depictions of health and illness on our screens. When inaccurate, these portrayals can create myths, propagate falsehoods and incite stigma. But when correctly presented, they have the potential to empower patient groups and dispel prejudice.