Exhibition displays work challenging stigma of mental health
Thursday 13 July 2017
An exhibition generated by local people challenging the stigma around mental ill health is currently on display at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury.
The exhibition, Every Picture Tells a Story, is the result of a project Led by Joyce Armstrong, of the Canterbury Art Studio, in collaboration with the Community Arts and Education (CAE) programme and the England Centre for Practice Development at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Every Picture Tells a Story is the second exhibition by the group of participants who during the course of the project discovered and explored their creative identity, finding purpose and direction, focusing upon wellbeing and the healing nature of art.
Carrie Jackson, Director of the England Centre for Practice Development said: We have been delighted to work with the Canterbury Art Studio and the University’s CAE to support the second year of this vitally important project.
“It is increasingly recognised in our society that museums and community spaces provide an important refuge and therapy space for people who are often invisible and find it hard to access mainstream services to support their health and wellbeing.
“This kind of initiative ought to be gaining the support of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and General Practitioners (GPs) as a viable evidence based alternative to drug therapy and outpatient treatment and as a cost effective beneficial option available on prescription.
“I would like to see this model being widely adopted and funded by commissioners to improve our community health and wellbeing in the future.
“All of the artists I have spoken to provide powerful stories of how beneficial this initiative has been to them in terms of enabling them to cope with some of the confidence challenges they experience as a result of finding it hard to access decent mental health support.”
A public exhibition of the work from the project’s first year in 2016 titled, Taking the Line for a Walk, was so successful in terms of raising community awareness of the issue and having a positive impact on the participants, that the group continued to work through 2017, with a second group joining and exhibiting in Every Picture Tells a Story.
The project has gained the attention of the Live Well Kent programme and the Shaw Trust who are exploring continued funding with the Canterbury Art Studio.
The first year of the project has been evaluated by the England Centre for Practice Development in collaboration with a researcher at the Sidney De Haan Centre for Arts and Health.
Find out more about the exhibition here.