City Arts and the Institute of Mental Health are looking for submissions of artwork inspired by mental illness, or created by artists living with mental health issues. For our 2019 open summer exhibition we are asking artists to respond to the theme “Uncertainty and the Unknown”.

Gary Winship explains the ideas behind the theme:

There is an old saying: ‘may you live in interesting times’. There is no doubt that we are living in interesting times, but this can bring with it great uncertainty and anxiety. For some people the unknown can feel like a threshold of terror, especially if you live with the challenge of mental health distress. Artists can offer essential reflections on the world around us. They can take our fears about the unknown and show us the possibility of hope. We’d like to see how you address uncertainty and the unknown in your work.

Submission Information

To submit work complete our online application form and upload good quality images of your artwork no later than 3rd May 2019. Only 2D artworks will be selected for the exhibition. Artists can submit up to 2 artworks each.

Alternatively, download the form below and email it to

You will be informed if you artwork has been selected in the week of the 6th May.

Delivery of artwork: no later than 17th May 2019

Exhibition opening: June 2019 (exact date TBC)

Exhibition end: September 2019 (exact date TBC)

About Arts & the Institute of Mental Health

The Arts have been a key feature of the spaces of the Institute of Mental Health since it opened in 2006. The summer open exhibition is our main event, but there are solo exhibitions which have offered platforms for service users and artists who have an especial interest in mental health to show their work. The Arts can educate and raise consciousness as well as mediate in processes of social change and awareness, community engagement and personal well-being. It can be a therapeutic activity that helps people to tell their story, but it can also be more than lens or a mirror to human nature, rather it can change the world we live in. And so it is fitting that the arts, and especially service user art, has been promoted at IMH and will continue to have dedicated space, because the idea of making the world a better place for people with mental health problems is at the very heart of this Institute.

The Institute of Mental Health is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust & the University of Nottingham.

Featured image: Detail from ‘Wallflower #1’ by Corinne Perry, 2016
From last years exhibition ‘Traumascapes & Landscapes of the Interior’.