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Photography exhibition unveilled at the Institute

A new photographic exhibition has been unveiled at The Institute of Mental Health, a partnership between The University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The exhibition ‘Dissimilar Reflections’, developed by local artists Mark Taylor and Tony Fisher launched last month and is open for viewings at the Institute building on Triumph Road in Nottingham from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday until the end of March.

The Arts have been a key feature of the Institute building since it opened in 2012. Art can be a therapeutic activity that helps people to tell their story. It can also educate and help to improve personal wellbeing as well as provide an educational medium to bring awareness about mental health and diminish the stigma associated to mental distress.

Dr Elvira Perez, Research Fellow at the Institute commented: “We are very proud to be supporting this exhibition. The Institute is a creative community and it is fitting that service user art has been promoted and will continue to have dedicated space.

The art that has been on display at the Institute has often created debate, it has brought colour and darkness in varied measures, and it shifts and influences the mental spaces of staff and visitors. This exhibition reflects Mark and Tony’s passion for photography and how it helps them manage their mental health problems and we hope you enjoy it as much as we are doing.”

Staring at the Sea – by Mark Taylor

The work for this exhibition reflects Mark’s interest in the transcendental nature of the sea. From a young age Mark has learned to cope with high levels of anxiety and bouts of clinical depression and this has shaped his approach to personal work, which often manifests itself as a form of therapy. In this instance, staring at the sea is something that becomes a meditative and contemplative experience. “Like many others I find myself drawn to the sea,” says Mark. “I enjoy the open space, the minimal aspect and the subtle interplay of light and colour between the sea, sky and horizon – it offers an ever-changing aesthetic. The work I present here focuses on the calming influence of the sea and my personal connection with it.”

Through a Glass Darkly – by Tony Fisher

Tony’s work involves the reflections and mirroring of windows. What they physically look like, what can be seen through them or what we can be seen from them and how the elements interact. Some of the photographs show decay and deprivation, some express hope and a new beginning and others just show absurdity and a sense of fun. “I take photographs here and there and then I spend hours finding commonalities and connections,” says Tony.

This series is a combination of past work with additional new work made particularly for this exhibition. “There is a paradox of permanency and the ephemeral in windows and reflections. Eyes may be ‘the window of the soul’ but to me photographing windows and reflections is ‘soothing of the soul’ and more effective than medication for depression,” Tony adds.

The Institute has an ongoing calendar of art exhibitions in order to provide a platform for local artists and service users to show their work. The exhibitions are scheduled around the main summer open exhibition which will be unveiled in May 2016.