I was asked to write a piece in 3 sections – Despair, Muddling Through and Recovery. Each of these themes were also given to an artist and a poet – check the website to see all the other work.
This commission came about after my blog A Safe Space was read by Nicky at Artipeeps. My blog was part of my slow recovery from a particularly bad patch of depression, at the time I was just in the start of the recovery phase.
I’m very proud of this work, it was a hard one in many ways, but easy as it all came flooding out…
More than several months ago I had an idea about creating a mini-collaboration on the theme of the mental health term ‘Recovery’. This is not only particularly relevant to me because I have bi-polar and am in a state of recovery myself, but also because ‘recovery’ is important for lots of people (including creatives) who are affected my mental health issues. It’s a universally important theme and experience.
With this in mind I asked the poets Carol Robson, John Mansell and Rebecca Audra Smith (all accessed via Twitter) if they would like to collaborate on this and write a poem for the project, each taking up a particular facet of the path to recovery. Carol took up the theme of DESPAIR, John, MUDDLING THROUGH and Rebecca ‘RECOVERY’. I asked 3 artists who were then paired with the poets: Ray Bentley, Photographer Jeremy Moseley and Hugo Smith (all accessed via Twitter) to produce artwork inspired by the three poems. I also asked audio visual artist Shaun Blezard to write an accompanying soundpiece for the three sections. So this whole project is completely fuelled by new literary pieces, artwork/photography and sounds. The piece can viewed in sections or be taken as a whole. I have also produced a mini-film which includes audio versions of the poems, and will give you an idea of the piece as a whole and how it could be turned into an installation of sorts (watch this space…). It is worth mentioning that everyone involved in this project either has direct experience of the issues or an explicit interest.
The Recovery Project is an important bench-mark for ArtiPeeps for it really represents the first contribution to a new mental health initiative we are going to be instigating more explicitly in October: ‘Supporting Mental Health’. This ongoing initiative will produce collaborative material which will form an online artistic and therapeutic resource for people in need. This will be part of other larger shifts in ArtiPeeps’ intent. There will be more news of this and its implications as time unfolds. But it’s all good.