Art in Focus: The Healing Arts exhibition
Charities Focus on Mental Illness, Art in the Frame Foundation and user participation group Focus UP, are partnering to launch an exhibition on World Mental Health Day.
- opens at the Harbour Gallery at 6.30pm on 10th October 2023, and runs from 9-16 October.
- features a selection of visual artworks from islanders living with mental illness.
- features guest speaker, Dr Lorna Collins, a leading advocate and campaigner in the field of arts and creativity in health.
- is funded by the Jersey Community Foundation and Channel Islands Lottery
Focus on Mental Illness and Art in the Frame Foundation are presenting a first of its kind exhibition at the Harbour Gallery on 10th October, World Mental Health Day.
Art in Focus: The Healing Arts, is a selection of visual artworks from islanders severely affected by mental illness. Art in Focus workshops have been running since July 2023. Participants will curate the exhibition and exhibit their work (alongside other contributors) to the wider public within a gallery setting.
Funded by The Jersey Community Foundation and Channel Islands Lottery, Art in Focus was created to improve access to arts and creativity for people more severely affected by mental illness. Research tells us that engagement in art and creativity can support recovery, help symptom management and increase social connections for people living with mental illness, it also suggests that people living with mental illness face many barriers to participation. Art in Focus aims to overcome these barriers to provide equal opportunities and access to the visual arts. We offer two 2hr supported sessions per week free of charge at the Harbour gallery. We provide a therapeutic space, different kinds of artistic engagement, as well as practical and financial support to enable participation.
People living with mental illness live in an unequal world. By launching the exhibition on 10th October, we hope to raise awareness of mental illness and avoid excluding islanders so affected from the conversation this World Mental Health Day.
Jo, Art in Focus Workshop participant, said: “I feel very relaxed coming here and it’s like a meditation. I’ve gained a new interest in art, and I am now looking into it in my spare time, making a journal at home, I have lots of new ideas. I feel at last like I’ve found me coming here. I will be very nervous to exhibit my work but also very proud of my achievements.”
Sara Pike, Focus on Mental Illness volunteer supporter, said: “Being involved has given me a sense of fulfilment that, despite knowing how beneficial an art practice has been to my own mental health, I have still been astounded by the progress participants have made in such a short amount of time – not only in their creative ability, but more importantly, the profound difference in their sense of wellbeing and their confidence. The importance of using creativity to connect back with yourself, cannot be overstated enough.”
Dawn Burrows, Art Educator for Art in The Frame Foundation, said; “I’ve had the idea to run art sessions for people living with mental illnesses for a while. It is when I contacted Focus on Mental Illness for family support that the collaboration between Art in the Frame Foundation, Focus on Mental Illness and Focus UP was developed. It is so rewarding to see confidence grow and anxiety lessen amongst participants, and to enable them to showcase their work in a public exhibition.”