We had a hugely inspiring and huge group in November, with 23 people attending. It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces and to hear about people’s projects and ideas working around themes of wellbeing. Thank you! Please see below for a re-cap of the group.
Elsbeth van der Poel shared her on-going graphic novel, WorryBoy, aimed at helping young people understand depression. Elsbeth wanted feedback on the aesthetics of the comic to see if different styles worked in explaining the changing parts of the novel. It’s been great to see Elsbeth’s project develop — well done Elsbeth!
Claire Collison shared work from her residency at Metal around body inclusivity through performance and life drawing, exploring prosthesis and breast cancer. We talked about possible funding avenues outside of Arts Council England, the idea of partnering up with charities that relate to our bodies of work etc. We also talked a bit about how to make something that can be sad/depressing quite fun, by injecting humour into participatory works.
Antonia Attwood shared some very early works exploring her interviews with people about their mental health experiences. Antonia has made a series of interviews as part of her Photography MA, and is interested in re-recording the interviews with actors who copy her audio recordings verbatim to protect the anonymity of her participants. Antonia referenced the technique used in a Channel 4 documentary called Married to a Paedophile. We discussed whether Antonia even needed to anonymise the voices. If the participants give consent, would we even know it’s them whether it was an actor or not?
For the final part of the session I (Daniel Regan) talked a bit about plans for the group. I have managed to secure a small amount of match funding to go and get some additional monies to develop the group. The plan is to:
- Continue running the monthly sessions as is;
- Secure funding for a number of peer group members to run skills based workshops for other peer group members;
- Run 2 or 3 full-day symposium events throughout the year (like the previous Get-Together event);
- Have funding to organise a group exhibition/series of events at the health centre.
This will all take time — I’ll keep you updated on whether this is possible. For now, groups will run as the normal monthly groups.