‘Dreams: Hurt, Hope & Happiness’, 21 May – 25 September 2015 at Institute of Mental Health

Date published: 22 May 2015

Posted by: Joe Pick

Artwork by Celine Siani Djiakoua

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Don’t miss thought-provoking new art exhibition at Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health, exploring the relationship between dreams and mental illness.

The exhibition, titled ‘Dreams: Hurt, Hope & Happiness’, runs from 21 May to 25 September 2015. It is the seventh open exhibition that arts charity City Arts Nottingham has run in partnership with Institute of Mental Health.

Directions to the Institute of Mental Health

City Arts selected work by artists from across the United Kingdom. They range in experience from local mental health service users, experimenting with art as a form of therapy, to established professional artists. As a result, the exhibition features an incredibly diverse selection of artwork; each artist has responded to the theme in their own unique way.

Tim Challans, Chair of City Arts, explains:

“The theme allows artists to tell their personal stories. Some have focused on nightmarish experiences of mental ill-health; others took a more hopeful approach, looking at their dreams for the future. We hope that people visiting the exhibition will enjoy it as much as we do!”

Dreams, mental health and art have long been intertwined. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, believed that dreams were crucial to understanding the unconscious mind. Freudian ideas had a strong influence on the work of Surrealist artists including Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

Artists with work on display include: Nottingham’s Bea Roberts, who recently discovered her artwork would appear in upcoming Hollywood film The Ninth Life of Louis Drax; Paulo Tercio, an international exhibited artist who, in 2013, won a commission for a permanent alter piece at St. Andrew’s Church in Fulham; and Mike Hughes, whose submission to the exhibition depicts a dream about time spent working in Nottingham’s BOC factory over 40 years ago.

Professor Paul Crawford, Director of the Centre for Social Futures at the Institute of Mental Health commented:

“We are very proud to be supporting local artists and service users. The Institute is a creative community and it’s fitting that service user art has been promoted and will continue to have dedicated space. The art that has been on display has often created debate. It has brought colour and darkness in varied measures and it shifts and influences the mental spaces of staff and visitors.”

‘Dreams: Hurt, Hope & Happiness’ is open for viewings on weekdays from 10am to 4pm. The Institute of Mental Health is on the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus.

Main image: ‘Let’s just bath in blue for a little while’ by Celine Siani Djiakoua