Below is a list of all the artists and locations involved on the Redditch art trail, which can be found across the town from 1-31st July.
Using the idea of repetitionto ask if one is alright (Are you ok? Are you really okay?)
The first step of dealing with depression is acknowledging one might not be ok. When someone asks you how you are today, the immediate reaction is that they are well. The question will be presented on posters, as well as stickers which can be placed on different objects on the trail. There is also an invisibility when it comes to depression as the symptoms are not straightforward. My idea is to use an original typeface which works on the negative spaces. This way the letters emulate the invisibility of the illness. The idea is if one needs to put an effort to read the words (as the typeface is not legible) maybe one has the time to reflect on the words, or the questions the poster poses.
Let’s All Sing Community Choir co-created the artwork, inspired by music and lyrics that: ‘brings us happy memories, uplifts our spirits and reminds us of friendships that we hold close to our hearts’.
Designed by members during rehearsals, held on Zoom due to continued lockdown restrictions, the choir chose songs that illustrate the theme as well as shaping the design of the piece. ‘Behind every favourite song is an untold story’ - Anon.
The choir hopes trail visitors will be inspired to look to the sky and think, like they did, of songs that: bring joyful memories, uplift their spirits and make them feel connected to friends. Then, whether you sing alone in the shower, partake in car-aoke, sing while cooking or sing in a choir, the group hopes you’ll listen to your songs and sing along. Let’s All Sing are great proponents of singing being a cathartic activity. Many studies have shown there are physical, psychological and social benefits of singing in a group: from improved respiratory and cardiac function, to enhancing our sense of social inclusion.
The choir encourages you to remember lyrics that are meaningful to you, sing and if possible, share your song choices with friends or family.
YouTube: Let’s All Sing Community Choir
Let’s All Sing is a non-profit community choir powered by Collective Imagination Community
Connecting with nature can reduce stress levels, fatigue, anxiety & depression. What are you waiting for? Get out into nature and get active.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt stressed, overwhelmed, or unable to cope at some point in the last year. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances and can affect how we feel and behave. Although some stress can be motivating, prolonged stress can harm our health, contributing to serious physical and mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Our experiences and life circumstances, including workplace demands, relationship dificulties, financial problems, and health issues can all cause us to feel stressed. We all have different capacities for stress in our lives. Effectively managing our stressors helps us to avoid mental health problems. Think of this bucket as your capacity for stress: The clouds, which represent the things or life circumstances that cause us stress, rain into the bucket, filing it with water. Actively doing things that we enjoy helps us to stress less, and turns on our taps, letting out the water in the bucket to prevent it from overflowing. What are the signs that your bucket is getting too full? Are your taps in working order?
Create your own sunshine is painted using acrylic on canvass. I thoroughly enjoyed painting this and became lost in the creative process. I believe any form of creativity is so therapeutic. I wanted to create a painting that may bring a smile to someone’s face, or to inspire creativity, to create our own sunshine, in whatever form that maybe. I’m a local artist, and a member of Arts in Redditch.
I’ve exhibited and sold paintings at the pop up gallery, in the Kingfisher centre. Currently having paintings for sale at Bank, in Astwood Bank, Queen Street. Also recently having paintings for sale on Etsy - BlueSilverArt. If you would like to see more of my work please take a look. Any interest is very much appreciated
FACEBOOK: AC STUART ARTS
I am an acrylic pour painting artist based at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Working with a lot of liquid paint is unpredictable. You have to accept that you cannot always control things. This type of art is very messy but extremely rewarding and every piece I produce is completely unique.
I find art to be tremendously therapeutic, connecting with your mind whilst engaging your body in a physical activity. This painting, ‘Storms don’t last forever’, did not come easily! This version was the fourth or fifth attempt. I poured the paints, swiped the colours through, didn’t like and scraped the paint off again. I did this three or four times I think. I lost count! It is just paint, right? Actually, it is more than just paint. It is confidence to discard something that isn’t right and start over again. It is perseverance to keep on going instead of giving up. It is having faith in your own abilities that you will get there in the end. It teaches you to be patient, don’t rush things. ‘Storms don’t last forever’
Here is my tribute to our magnificent NHS who have skilfully navigated the nation through the pandemic. Rainbows are a symbol of hope in many cultures, Noah saw one at the end of the Great Flood so knew it was safe to leave the Ark, Aboriginals knew that when they saw a rainbow the end of the rains was in sight and for Buddhists the rainbow symbolises the stage just before Nirvana otherwise known as Enlightenment.
I’ve drawn upon the water theme associated by many with Noah, depicting a boat with rainbow sails negotiating the stormy seas of the last 18 months and heading towards a safe harbour. Once docked these sails will still be relevant as a beacon of hope for those of us who have struggled with loss, grief, anxiety and other mental health issues, they will see them and know that there is a place to seek help and guidance.
Hi, I’m Vicky Kitchen and I love colour, the brighter and bolder the better. I created this artwork using glass which I cut, shaped and then fused in a kiln to temperatures over 750°C . I use glass as light just makes it sing, casting not shadows but brilliant shades of colour on any surface it touches. It sounds a bit like alchemy but it’s not, in fact if you’d like to give it a go I do hold regular workshops in a purpose built studio where it’s all explained and you get to create your own piece of glass artwork. Send an email to email@example.com for further details
Reflecting the nature of the Community Arts classes and their contribution to the wellbeing and mental health of the students. The pictures themselves are of paintings completed by the students and convey a feeling of tranquility and joy about the world around us.
The hidden nature of a mental illness, such as PTSD, means we always find it hard to discuss our conditions with others. If we had a picture or a physical representation of what is going on our brains, we could explain to many what happens when we feel a certain way. We could show what happens when something that brings back memories of an experience and how this alters our brain inside, which might make things all that more easier to explain to ourselves and to others.PET scans and other forms of medical imagery of the brain can show this visual representation of how our brain changes when it experiences the stress and anxiety of the results of PTSD. A recent study by Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation in 2015, looked into the physical health and genetics of 300 Australian Vietnam veterans. Of the 300, half had PTSD, and half did not; and in a sub-study, 100 of the veterans (50 sufferers and an equal control group of non- sufferers) underwent brain imaging, showing the differences in the images between sufferers of PTSD and not. Although these scans are not commonly used in treatment and diagnosis of PTSD, having this physical image for a sufferer to see how the brain changes with their symptoms, may allow them and their peers to understand the changes the disorder causes and make talking about the disease a lot easier, a lot like a broken leg or bone.
As a past sufferer of PTSD as well as a number of hidden illnesses myself, I know that having something visible to others makes it a lot easier to speak about an illness or mental health illness. I know if I had been shown a scan of my brain every time a trigger for my PTSD came along I would feel better about talking about the issues with others.
This quilt is the result of a challenge sent to the learners on the Ability Programme at Heart of Worcestershire College, during the first lockdown in spring 2020. They were tasked to decorate a square of material in any way they liked – painting, embroidery, creating a collage and in any design.
As the learners all have brain injuries as a result of a stroke or traumatic head injury the challenge to do this in isolation demanded much from their skills of cognition, dexterity and imagination. During lockdown many were living alone, so the challenge also provided a focus, motivation to produce something and a link to friends and fellow students. The squares were then put together to create the quilt, a striking reminder of the year 2020.
During the COVID pandemic like many others I had to shield. My mental health was at an all-time low as I was not able to fulfil my role as a nurse but also because I was isolated from my family and work colleagues. You do not realise the impact of incidental interactions with others until it is gone.
To combat what I was feeling I took up painting. At first I was unsure of a style and just allowed myself to be “free” with expression. For me being “free” has many connotations, free to be myself, free to hug my grandchildren, free to do the job that I love, free to enjoy the world in all its beauty but lately free to leave the house without fear or regret.
The pandemic has shown us that we can live in a world that is broken and that as a society we can build each other up, come together and forge a better future, a future “free” of restrictions. My hope is that my art will be thought invoking, what does “free” mean to you?
A physical and digital collage piece by Sarah Bagshaw.
Sarah Bagshaw an artist/designer/educator based in Birmingham, UK.
She uses a variety of handmade processes, such as drawing, painting, printmaking and collage before taking the work onto the computer and manipulating digitally. The digital aspect is as experimental as the handmade methods used and the work evolves resulting in bold and colourful designs. Sarah’s client list includes Lush Handmade Cosmetics, Anthropologie and 3M and she sells prints, paintings, cards and tea towels via her website (www.sarahbagshaw.com) Sarah has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art (painting) from Falmouth College of Art, an MA in Surface Pattern Design from Birmingham City University and has also worked as an art and design lecturer for many years.
You’ve touched me.
Your soft-spoken words
enveloped my being in
a layer of protective coating.
You might not have even realised
the safety you extended,
allowing a sweet moment to relax
my aching body that grew tired of fighting
against the roughness of my daily normality.
You’ve touched me.
You’ve made me believe
with your soft-spoken words.
Veronika Lavey is a fine art photographer who’s work illuminates shared emotional experiences in people. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Creative Writing and Literature, Veronika discovered the art of visual storytelling in which she now explores themes universal to those trying to find their fit in the world. She believes we all need stories because their power can help us find a narrative we're all connected to; the very ones we are naturally wired to listen to, the ones that make us feel united in our pain, our hopes, our journey of life.
As a self-portrait artist, Veronika photographs herself and becomes either an autobiographical or a theatrical character inspired by the desire to create a connection and a sense belonging for those who need it. Symbolism is abundant in Veronika’s work giving clues to what direction to take with each piece, although she likes to leave much of the meaning open for interpretation. She often offers a more immersive experience to the viewer by pairing the image with music, sound effects, poetry or a short story. Veronika’s wish, with her surreal and thought provoking images, is to make people feel like they are not alone.’
Within my piece there is 5 of my mental health pieces
Bottom left: LOOK BEHIND THE TEARS a recognised saying which hides the truth i'm ok is usually used to hide the fact they are crying for help
Top left: WERE ALL A BIT MAD-HERE' A a quirky mix of emotions displayed within a cake but with a twist and reference to the mad hatter
Middle: NEVER GIVE UP from the frog in the throat to a whole new revamp a poster i had growing up to a funny new way of representing it
Top right: PAINTING OUT THE IMPERFECTIONS this was actually painted using make-up to point out the daily struggles women have with self acceptance as a lot of women suffer with self confidence and are scared of showing there real colours.
Bottom right: AGITATION originally a piece reflecting my own anxiety and the best way i could explain the horror of my own agitated mind on a daily basis but uniquely for this piece i used coffee in three different ways to create it plus if you have seen my positivity birds i hope they have brought you peace through a hard time.
INSTAGRAM: @ KATIE_JONES_ART_STUDIO
Katie is a graphic design student from Leamington Spa, freelancing as an artist and designer. She also volunteers in her community on projects including Better Faces in my Time, which aims to build conversations around mental well being with art and creativity. She is passionate about mental wellness and strives to communicate big ideas in all of her work. These illustrations explore nature and the body: how plants can help to heal us and how we can bloom like flowers.
The illustrations are accompanied by poetic affirmations of purpose and power. The originals are painted with watercolour and ink – the medium was chosen because it is delicate and beautiful. This technique takes patience, just as it takes patience to look after and learn about our minds and bodies. The single lines reflect connection: they flow like a stream that nourishes the soil from which everything grows.
The figures represent finding yourself and understanding what your body needs. By taking the time to connect the physical world with our inner beings we can find peace and happiness within. The flowers represent growth and beauty. We are all beautiful flowers, growing out of the dark soil and blooming under the brightest sun
The following artwork “Its ok to not to be ok” features elephants who are highly empathetic and caring creatures; the perfect subject depicting how you are not alone if feeling low and there is light on the horizon.
It is important to feel loved when you are down and that you are free to express your emotions reaching out for the support you need. This Elephant is comforting its companion and in doing so bringing light back into its friends life. I enjoy using watercolour as it is a soft and flowing medium perfect for wildlife art. Having been lucky enough to get up close to Elephants in the wild and look into their eyes I can still feel the strong sense of peace and calm that emanated from them. I wanted to portray this feeling in my piece and depict the love they have for one another. Offering a shoulder for a friend to lean on is so important and can really improve mental wellbeing.
Here is the photograph work title: ‘Do not let your past define your future’.
My photography series explores how mental health can be represented throughout nature and of what correlations can be found between the two. As can be witnessed throughout nature, life can also have its ups and downs, of periods of time where we are not feeling our best. The trees pictured are a representation of our mental health, of how we can feel stripped back and bare, and yet of how we are able to regain life and flourish once again into the best versions of ourselves. The quote ‘Do not let your past define your future’ is a reminder to anyone reading that life is what you make of it, and that there is always potential to grow and escape your past.
This poem, written by Ella Sherr, is inspired by the teachings of Tibetan Master, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. It reminds us to let ourselves feel what we feel in the moment and be kind to ourselves as we feel them, knowing that feelings pass by like clouds floating through the sky. We learn that we are not those feelings, we are something else. We are the calm, clear sky. Clouds pass, and we remain. We just need to bring awareness to moments in our day to see the stillness within us, we just need to be still enough to see it.
Ella is a writer, voice-over artist, yoga and meditation teacher, and an expert in mindfulness. She works with apps, individuals, and content creators making unique, accessible, and often personalised mediation scripts. Having battled her own mental-health issues whilst working as a teacher, she knows from her own experience how healing a moment of calm can be. It was her Yoga/meditation practice that saved her back then. Ella combines her language/ wellbeing expertise with her love of the written word and draws on her own personal experiences to help others find their way back home to their true, inherently peaceful self.
The artwork is a person stood behind a curtain and anxious of the crowd. The crowd being the outside world and the world being our stage. Sometimes this can be intimidating if you are an anxious person/experiencing mental health issues. If you cant find the strength at that moment its powerful when others believe in you and give you that push. Because they know you can do this.
For this Artwork I used An Ink wash with fine liner pen. I wanted it to be subtle and soft. The paper is Khadi, and made from recycled rag material. Which works well with inks.
About me: I am a sketch artist based in Birmingham, I capture art of Nature, people and life. You can view my artwork on instagram: poppitt.art and
Whilst creating their masterpieces, we’ve explored how we can support others who might be struggling through difficult times in their lives as well as helping the children to think about what they can do to keep themselves mentally healthy through positive activities and lifestyle choices. “Nelly” can be viewed on the outside of our Scout Hut in Greenlands.