We are open to *any and all creative ideas that express your messages. Please get in touch to run them by us! And please read the following guidelines and suggestions:
PLEASE NOTE: While we encourage spontaneity, authenticity and catharsis, pieces containing language or images that are likely to be offensive to others, or names of specific people, may not be exhibited.
Artistic talent is not a necessity; it's the message that matters
If possible, create within a group or with someone else, in a supportive environment. Be careful with yourself and each other; these activities may trigger uncomfortable feelings, thoughts and memories.
To loosen up creativity it can be good to ‘play’ with different media before starting to do something specific (ie acrylics, watercolours, colouring pencils, sharpies, clay, words etc.)
Collage (cutting pictures and words from magazines and gluing onto paper or card) can be a great warm-up and also produce an excellent final piece. In our workshops the initial session involved identifying the strengths and skills we’ve acquired through our lived experience (and possibly not previously acknowledged) and creating a collage highlighting these.
Our group members have benefited from talking together about different aspects of their experiences, including services and individual service-providers that did and did not help, and they system behind these, and mulling over thoughts and feelings to identify messages they may want to express. Imagined recipients have included psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, the Home Office, social workers, criminal justice workers, DSS and council officials, educators, GPs and other medical professionals, teachers, politicians, bureaucrats, policy-makers, funders and others.
Here is a quick, easy and powerful exercise about the labels we collect throughout our lives
The message in the creative piece doesn’t have to be obvious; abstract is fine. Contributors will be requested to write a brief explanation, of up to 150 words, of the message they want to put across. (some examples are here).
You can see some artwork examples that have already been created below. If in a group, or pair, you might discuss which ones speak to each of you and why, how they’ve been made/what was used to make them, and any ideas or inspirations they offer.
Pieces may be a variety of sizes, shapes or materials, but please agree this with us beforehand. Pieces should be easy to transport, handle and display, and not too heavy or fragile. Our ability to support transportation is limited.
Please note that, while we will do our best to ensure all contributions will be seen, we cannot guarantee this; we are a small organisation and may not have the capacity to exhibit all pieces. We may also not be able to return all pieces, although we hope to be able to arrange pick-ups in the relevant areas following the exhibitions. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.
We will, of course, do our best to take care of exhibits but cannot ultimately guarantee their safety. Loss and damage are possible during transportation, handling and display.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.