Creativity and emotion — new exhibition explores mental health

   
   
27 May 2009 13:58:00.000

PA 146/09

An exhibition examining the interaction between creativity and mental health is showcasing the work of local artists on Jubilee Campus.

 

A collaboration between the University’s Institute of Mental Health and City Arts, Identity examines the diversity and equality of art related to mental health.

 

It features work by both self-taught and professionally-trained artists who have experienced mental illness.

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Alongside these are pieces by health professionals and students, exploring mental illness from an alternative perspective. Biographical information is provided alongside the work, demonstrating the vital role that art can play in exploring, understanding and recovering from mental health problems.

 

Dr Victoria Tischler, a lecturer in Behavioural Sciences, said: “An astonishing diversity of approaches and experiences is on show. These range from raw emotion expressed through vivid colour and brushstrokes to visual depictions of phobia and childhood trauma. The dark vortex of depressive illness is represented, the process of mental breakdown and subsequent treatment, through to peace, recovery and a changed sense of self.”

 

Artist Charlotte Breedon is featured in the exhibition. “I have always found drawing and painting to be an excellent way of expressing feelings which I can find no words to describe,” she said. “Depression has often left me unable to communicate these thoughts, worries and fears, and so I let the pencil and brush do the talking. I feel that words cannot describe the exact nature of my art, so I leave it to each individual to interpret as you will. Maybe that way people fortunate enough to live without depression or any other mental illness may begin to understand the constant conflicts within our minds.”

 

Anthony Gariff’s art has also been influenced by his mental health. “My experience of mental health has, ironically, provided a rich source of inspiration for my art,” he said. “To harness some of the struggle and emotions involved, hopefully, turns adversity to positive advantage. I find my art work calming, satisfying and sometimes even healing.”

 

Identity is on show at the Sir Colin Campbell building, Triumph Road, Jubilee Campus, until November 2009. For more information visit www.institutemh.org.uk and www.city-arts.org.uk

 

— Ends —

 

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

 

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

 

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

 

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

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Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: tara.decozar@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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