The painting here, depicting the torment of a lost past and an unknown future, is among the intriguing works in a new exhibition opening in London today which focuses on mental health. The arts event by charity CoolTan Arts, an organistion run for and by people with experience of mental health issues that I’ve blogged about before, includes collage, painting, sculpture to batik and drawing.
William Ball, the artist behind the piece above, In a Room, says his use of black and yellow reflects concepts of death and danger. Another of Ball’s pieces, Through a Window, meanwhile, represents the optimism and growth he found at CoolTan; it is no coincidence that the artist also cares for the garden at the arts charity.
Ball has been a CoolTan regular since 2003 after a mental health crisis sparked by his mother’s death a few years previously, redundancy and relationship breakdown. “My future looked very bleak, at 51-years-old my life seemed as if it was over.” Almost sectioned and prescribed “heavy medication”, Ball was introduced to CoolTan Arts by a friend: “The people were warm and supportive. I soon visited regularly and enjoyed being part of it.”
The artist’s story is testament to the charity’s work which aims to change perceptions of mental ill health. The organisation, based in Southwark, south London, believes that mental wellbeing is enhanced by creativity.
Here are a few of the other pieces on show until November 30th at Carnegie Library in Herne Hill, south London.
The free exhibition opens today at a Library, 188 Herne Hill Road, SE24 0AG, and runs until November 30. For information call 0207 701 2696 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org