One of the great privelages of being in charge of an organisation like Space2Create is being alongside individuals who are on a journey from crisis to recovery and sharing a chunk of that journey through time spent with them creating.
The exhibition now on at our Gallery in Unit 31 and ArtSpace at The Factory is a creative record of 100 days in the life of an individual facing a variety of challenges that is mental health. Only somebody who has lived those 100 days with the pain, fear, stress and hope of living with a mental illness could possibly have produced this body of work. No artists could research and develop sketch books to produce artwork that equalled this content. As such it is a very unique record, a very personal record, of a period of time that saw the roller coaster ride of mental health. The troubles with medication, the sleepless nights, the fears, confusion occupy the troughs while the peaks call out in colourful hope pictorially describing the highs and the joys of being alive.
It is a journey worth sharing. I was privileged to be present at times in the creation of this record as artwork was being produced. Spontaneous, unplanned from the depth of a soul and from the heart and from the turmoil of a mind. You must travel this road. If you have suffered with mental health issues yourself this may be a tricky journey to share but you will understand. You will appreciate the steps along the way as the mood rises and falls, as fear becomes insomnia becomes beauty. You will appreciate the black humour and the complexity and the colours. If you have no experience of a mental health condition then you need to take this journey. From day 1 to day 100, walk the path and experience this expression of living a life, how abrupt the changes in mood can be, how low the lows can be and how high the highs.
For me this represents a staggering achievement. To face the problems and still produce an artwork each day for 100 days.
The exhibition raises funds for Leonard Cheshire Youthability and Space2Create, picture selling at £100 each. A bargain when you consider each is priceless.
Exhibition continues Sunday 28th and Monday 29th May, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 11-4 at Space2Create Unit 31 and ArtSpace in The Factory Kendal before moving on to Barrow.
Space2Create’s service user journeys this week: