Studio Upstairs collaborate with Tate to talk about Mental Health

 

Studio Upstairs members were actively involved in a collaborative process that brought together various charities and the Tate Modern to exchange ideas, feelings and thoughts about mental health, wellbeing and creative practices, including visual arts.

The result of this collaboration was the event called,  Chain Reaction: How Are You? held on 5th November at the Tate Modern.

Our members and studio managers contributed by responding creatively as individuals to cube structures which were used to make an installation display. The cubes became the heart of the event as members of the public entered the space and walked around them. Throughout the afternoon people had conversations prompted by the images, colours and words they saw in the cubes, which were all related to experiences of mental health.

Sarah Walker, a member of Studio Upstairs, said:

“We took part in this project to highlight mental health issues by creating meaningful dialogues, to strengthen awareness of the work of Studio Upstairs,  and, as artists to create exciting, enjoyable and creative opportunities for Tate visitors.”

Jake, also a member of our studio added: “I  was very honoured to be a part of this project. I found it empowering: to produce the artwork and to witness others, random strangers interacting with the art. I particularly enjoyed seeing my work appreciated. It was also empowering because I felt the event was lifting the lid on stigma towards mental illness.”

At the event, members of the public were encouraged to help to make a long paper chain and placards with messages related to wellbeing; and take selfies or portraits against a background which reflected the person’s mood through the use of colours and shapes. Each one of these activities asked the public to respond to the question ‘How Are You?

Few of our members also volunteered their time to help deliver the activities.

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/workshop/tate-exchange/chain-reaction-how-are-you

We ask – How are You?

The question initiates one of the most everyday exchanges we all face. We also ask – Is there a way of answering the question so that our actual truth can exist in a world which often seems to require glib and positive responses.

Art, drama, music and poetry create languages for grief, trauma, terror, ecstasy and joy. However, in society, these areas of human experience are usually talked about in the language of illness – depression, mania, psychosis, bipolar, schizophrenia etc. We ask – Can there be other languages to describe people’s existence in a more real way.

In the field of psychiatry, we recognise that there are many individuals and groups who have a supportive and helpful influence for patients. However, we ask – Is it helpful for a person’s thoughts, endeavours, emotional life and struggles for existence to be viewed as symptoms of illness? Can there be more supportive and meaningful exchanges between psychiatry and the people seeking its support? Does mental illness in fact exist? We ask you to join us in exploring these questions.

Using some of the most powerful forms of exchange, art making, drama and discussion, consider the question – How are you? In this exploration we hope to learn more about what it is that we all need in order to connect, create and contribute?

Written by Sarah Walker

Big thank you from Studio Upstairs!

Big thank you to the Riverside Garden Centre in Bristol for donating some flower/herb seeds for our outside area. Some of the flowers will come up for the summer other will come up annually.

Our outside area was in need of some TLC, so a few members have been working outside today re-potting plants – thank you! The re-planting of our new seeds will happen next week..

Once the flowers have grown we will add a photo to the blog. Thanks once again!

Studio Upstairs Bristol visits Expressions 2013

This morning a couple of the team and some members from the Bristol Studio visited the Expressions 2013 Festival at the Paintworks Event Space. Expressions is a yearly exhibition run by The Milestones Trust. This year’s Expressions is about ‘bringing the outside in’.

It is such a fun show! Weird and wonderful with a million things to look at. The entrance is very spring-like, with hundreds of hand crafted projects.

Then the visitors have to pick through  hanging images printed on material to get into the main show. Once into the main show the visitor is greeted by a felted Angel and busts of Elvis, The Queen, Gandalf and others (including a particularly unnerving owl-woman).

The show is split up into different parts for different projects and installations, most of them collaborative. There was an Afghan Box Camera, a project called ‘Bringing Yourself to the Table’ and a Secret Garden amongst other installations. It was a pleasure to look round such a lively and intriguing space. They also had a great cafe (lovely tea!).

Do go and have a look if you get a chance. Expressions 2013 is on until 21st April at Paintworks, Bristol. There is a full list of events and projects here.

Written by Megan Hoyle.

Celebrating Studio Upstairs at The Royal Academy of Arts

On Friday 20th July 2012 we are delighted to be hosting an evening of celebration and a silent auction at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, to raise awareness that ONE IN FOUR adults in the UK suffers mental health problems at some time in their life. All proceeds raised will go towards supporting the work that we do in both London and Bristol.

We are now looking for artworks to be donated to the auction from the UK’s most promising artists of 2012, and that could be you!

Bristol based artist Anthony Garratt has already donated a piece to the auction alongside Rob Ryan  and Dan Baldwin.

Auction pieces  will be uploaded to the Studio Upstairs website for bidding to commence online from the 12th of July.

The event will be tied in with an evening at the Summer Exhibition, which is the Royal Academy’s busiest time of year. Artists work will be displayed in the Royal Academy, and of course its all for a good cause! Works will feature on the Studio Upstairs website, in the catalogue for the event and be exposed to art collectors.

You may submit 2D or 3D work. 2D work must be no bigger than 1m x 1m and 3D work no larger than 50cm squared.

Works selected to take part in the event will be notified by email and need to be delivered to Studio Upstairs London Unit E3, 3 Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN by MONDAY 25th JUNE.

Quartet Community Foundation support Studio Upstairs Bristol

Quartet Community Foundation supporting Studio Upstairs Bristol

This morning’s post has brought with it an offer of funding from Quartet Community Foundation and Sport relief Community Cash Grants Programme. The foundation who have supported our exhibitions in the past is now supporting Drawing Through, adding to the funds already secured from Arts Council England and The Tedworth Charitable Trust.

We are delighted that this project is shaping up so well! Watch this space for news about Drawing Through.

Artist and Curator announced for Arts Council Funded project

Bristol based charity Studio Upstairs has recently been awarded funding from Arts Council South West to stage a year-long arts project called Drawing Through. Today they announced that they have appointed local artist Alice Jones to work on the project alongside Jack Gibbon of Antlers Gallery in Bristol.

Studio Upstairs is an artist’s studio that supports adults suffering from mental health issues and those in drug and alcohol recovery. The Drawing Through project will involve Alice and Jack working alongside the 50 members who attend Studio Upstairs. Over the next few months Alice, Jack and the team at Studio Upstairs will arrange workshops, gallery visits and artist talks as well as encouraging the members to look at different ways to create art. The project will culminate in three exhibitions later this year, which will include work from the Studio’s life drawing class and writers group.

Alice Jones is an Artist and Illustrator specialising in pencil based drawing. In 2010 she received the Emerging Artist Award at The Royal West of England Academy autumn exhibition.  She studies the themes of people and landscape and is currently developing a new body of work. Of her appointment as lead artist for Drawing Through she said: ‘Studio Upstairs promotes a great place for members to express themselves creatively within a supportive community. It is a wonderful opportunity to be the Lead Artist of Studio Upstairs’ Drawing Through project in Bristol. I cannot wait to see what the members have been working on and sharing my own practice with them.’

Jack Gibbon, Director of Antlers Gallery in Bristol is going to be curating the three exhibitions later this year. “I am very excited to be working on ‘Drawing Through’ with Studio Upstairs and Alice Jones. You can tell straight away from Alice’s work that she has a deep understanding of drawing processes. I can imagine this will provide a great source of inspiration to the studio members.”

This is the first time that Studio Upstairs has received funding from the Arts Council and follows a year of intense fundraising under the leadership of Director Zlatinka Hristova who took over in February 2011. “This funding really goes to show the high quality of artwork that is produced at Studio Upstairs. We are very pleased to be able to run the project and showcase the great work of both our artists and of Alice Jones and Jack Gibbon. ”