We delivered the Tall Stories project on behalf of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust in 2010, in celebration of World Mental Health Day. We facilitated a team of artists who experience mental health difficulties to be able to curate and deliver this whole project.
We have been working on a series of projects with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust such as this, inviting the public to engage in creativity. We hope through doing this to promote the therapeutic and healing benefits of participating in arts activity, to promote social inclusion and to provide an opportunity to dispel negative myths associated with mental health services and those who use them.
The main element of the project involved an empty shop on Holloway Road being transformed into a colourful gallery of totem poles featuring artwork, masks and stories produced during workshops that we had run in shopping centres around Islington.
We invited people to create artwork using a variety of mediums and working straight onto boxes, tubes, found objects, masks and more to express their own identity and story. Through doing this we engaged over 300 people; families, elderly, children, adults and more, producing a fantastic and varied collection of artwork for our exhibition – everything was displayed!
As well as our workshops in the shopping centres and the gallery itself, we also lead workshops for service users within the Trust including The Creativity Centre, Jules Thorne and Highgate Mental Health Day Centre. All work made was featured in our exhibition alongside the work from members of the public. What made this project extra special was seeing participants from all the workshops make a special trip to the gallery to see their work exhibited, this was lovely and made them feel very special.