Since 2009, City Arts has co-ordinated exhibitions at the Institute of Mental Health in Nottingham in partnership with University of Nottingham. These were; Identity, Visions, Voices, Interiors and Diversity.
This is a successful partnership and attracts national entries from artists all over the UK. These exhibitions provide a platform for artists to express themselves through the creation of visual arts and photography. The work shown regularly confronts preconceptions that may exist in society regarding mental health and often portrays poignant and thought provoking imagery.
“There is a rich history of interaction between creativity and mental health. The term ‘outsider art’ is used to refer to art which exists at the margins of society and culture. The exhibitions are often a collection of works created by both self-taught and professionally trained artists; artists who experienced illness and those who became ill, and then discovered art. The work ranges from raw emotion expressed through vivid colour and brush strokes. The dark vortex of depressive illness is represented, the process of mental breakdown and subsequent treatment, through to peace, recovery and a changed sense of self.”
Dr Victoria Tischler, Lecturer in Behavioural Sciences, University of Nottingham.