Faculty of Arts

Inside out: portraits of emotional resilience

Andy Farr's Hope - a painting of a hazy view through a wood

An exploration of living with mental health challenges in the BAME community

A unique art project with artist and storyteller Andy Farr.

Andy is working with a small number of people from across the BAME community at UoN exploring their experiences of mental health and emotional wellbeing. He is interested in how people describe their feelings. From one-to-one conversations, he will create paintings which represent the stories he has been told. 

We have now received enough expressions of interest to commence interviews and start this project. If you are interested in seeing the finished artwork, and/or are interested in submitting some of your own work, please register your interest.

I'm interested submitting work and/or visiting the exhibition

Why are we doing this project?

The project is a collaboration between the universities of Nottingham (Dr Helen Frost at UoN), NCVS (Kashmeera Gorecha at Nottingham Community and Voluntary Services) and a local community centre, The ICCA (The Indian Community Centre Association). It is part of an NHS and NCVS drive to raise awareness of mental health in the Nottingham BAME community, and better promote access to NHS Talking Therapies.

What is it like being part of a project like this?

Andy Farr - The Puppeteer 300px w
 Andy Farr

ZK participated in Andy’s Portraits of Isolation project. This is what she has to say about the experience:

My portrait of isolation has been a meditation, not just in the way of consistent ‘showing up’ for myself, it has made space for me to grow. It has lifted me out of myself and enabled me to see myself from a birds-eye view, coming away from the state of being consumed by thoughts and seeing a more expansive view of myself, paralleling the painting. 

I feel a sense of belonging to my authentic self and not to my anxiety. 

The role of the puppeteer has shifted in this way and has become representative of my energy change. That is going to help me be a better mum, friend and ally and form those connections post-lockdown.




Sharing personal experiences can evoke both positive and challenging emotions. Alongside creating a supportive working relationship, maintaining your well-being and sense of safety is important. Should you require support, further information can be found at:


About the Artist

Andy is an artist based in the Midlands.

In 2018 Andy created a series of paintings based on conversations with people recovering from post-traumatic stress. These paintings were exhibited across the country as part of an exhibition entitled The Twisted Rose and Other Lives.

The title came from one of the paintings which was based on one man’s experience. He described himself as now feeling like a twisted rose, growing out of the dark into the light, but still carrying the scars of his past.

In 2020, Andy followed this with the online exhibition Portraits of Isolation, based on people’s experience of lockdown.

Andy Farr - twisted rose
 Andy Farr

Faculty of Arts

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For course and admissions enquiries see our enquiry page

For Faculty administrative enquiries:
telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 8502
email: AR-Arts-Admin@nottingham.ac.uk