Arts in Mind meet regularly at Towner. They make artwork in a supported studio setting, and nurture positive mental health. The group have been meeting and making since 2009. Since September 2022, Arts in Mind has been led by Artist Facilitators Ella Hempsted and Michaela Ross.
During sessions members work alongside each other on their own projects, and also experiment with collaborative making together.
Current members of Arts in Mind are: Aaron, Amber, Andy, Bryan, Christine, Elizabeth, Janet, JP, Linda, Sarah, Sindy, Sue, Sue K and Stephen.
About the artists:
I am a multi-disciplinary artist working mainly in 3D. My interest and excitement lies in engaging with materials physically to explore and test ideas in making. In our current consumerist society, fast paced production and excessive waste enables us to overlook the everyday materials around us. By mostly working with materials found, collected, or selected for their unique function or usefulness, my practice seeks to give an opportunity to recognise and appreciate the things that occupy our space and live alongside us, but are so easily disregarded.
My artistic approach is process driven with a focus on investigation and discovery led by the potential of the material I am working with. This way of working has led to a playful approach to making, as I balance my intention as an artist to 'control' against the push back of the given material to behave in its own way. I have found that working sculpturally with materials of a tactile nature satisfies my need to engage physically with materials to best understand them.
I am trained as a painter and printmaker but I also produce mixed-media, site-specific installations. My professional practice is research-led and socially engaged. I worked as a community curator and artist-educator at Tate from 1997-2018, collaborating with various groups, including social care and prison/probationary services. I am interested especially in the relationships between art and wellbeing, and have spent time looking at dialogues surrounding psychiatric care and how 'Patient Voices' are placed within this.
I have always worked closely with community groups to develop skills and artistic practice as a way to openly explore mental health. My work is practice-led with a focus on professional development programmes for artists with lived experience of mental health problems. I have been trained in various aspects of caring for people with lived experience and to support recovery.