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New summer arts exhibition

Image 4 Paul Warren

A new arts exhibition was launched at the Institute of Mental Health in Nottingham in association with Nottingham charity City Arts. It was opened by Nottingham artist, Diana Ali, who has recently appeared as a mentor on the BBC One’s ‘The Big Painting Challenge’.

‘Here and Now’ is the ninth exhibition staged by the Institute and City Arts and opened on Wednesday 17 May at the Institute of Mental Health building, Triumph Road on the University of Nottingham’s Innovation Park.

The exhibition showcased work by artists, individuals that have experienced mental health issues, carers, healthcare professionals and all those with an interest in considering mental health issues through the arts.

Kate Duncan, Creative Programmes Manager for City Arts, explains the background to the exhibition’s theme: “Our reality is a succession of unique moments, each moment impacting on our well-being. This annual Summer Exhibition is an opportunity for artists to express through art how they are experiencing and reacting to each of those moments.

“Our call for submissions to this ninth exhibition attracted entries from across the UK. The work selected is diverse in every sense, with some fascinating interpretations of the theme. We hope you will enjoy this stimulating and thought-provoking exhibition.”

Diana Ali says: “I am delighted to be asked to open this exhibition in my home town of Nottingham. Whatever our path has been and will be, whatever has happened and will happen, we have the freedom of expressing it through images as they shout louder than words. Art has the power of allowing us to share and communicate without the pressures of explaining and this is one of the many vehicles for mental well-being.”

Exhibitions 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 and it can also educate and help to improve personal wellbeing.

Professor Paul Crawford, Director of the Centre for Social Futures at the Institute commented: “We are very proud to be supporting local artists and service users. The Institute is a creative community and it’s fitting that service user art has been promoted and will continue to have dedicated space. The art that has been on display 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.”

The Institute has an ongoing calendar of art exhibitions in order to provide a platform for mental health service users and artists who have a special interest in mental health to show their work. The Summer exhibition ‘Here and Now’ ran from 17 May to 29 September 2017 and entrance was free.