NSUN network for mental health is an independent, service-user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give us a stronger voice in shaping policy and services.

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Arts

Below is a list of service user/survivor art groups and artists.

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Groups

     
    User Group Name Contact Details

    Andrew Voyce

    Andrew Voyce

    Andrew spent the years from age 23 to 40 as a ’revolving door’ patient in the old National Health Service asylums in the UK. The 'pernicious' mental hospital regime is captured in slide show format with 'enlightening and funny' narratives.

    Bobby Baker

    Bobby Baker

    Bobby Baker is a woman, and an artist. She lives in London, England. In her career of 35 odd years she has, amongst other things, danced with meringue ladies; made a life size edible and tasty cake version of her family to be eaten by visitors; opened her kitchen to the public and subsequently many kitchens around the world; driven around the streets of London strapped to the back of a truck screaming at passers by through a megaphone to ‘Pull Yourselves Together’ and cured thousands of her pea patients with their many ‘unreasonable’ psychological and behavioural problems with her Therapy Empire How To Live. In 2009 a major exhibition at Wellcome Collection shared her Diary Drawings with a wider public for the first time and they continue to tour internationally.

    • Bobby Baker
    • 020 7247 5102
    • Daily Life Ltd c/o Artsadmin Toynbee Studios 28 Commercial Street London E1 6AB
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Breakthrough Art

    Breakthrough Art

    Breakthrough Art is a user led organisation that promotes positive mental health through the creative arts. It showcases the creative talents and art of people who have suffered mental distress. It develops and influences national policy on art and mental health, shares positive practice and develops an international network for anyone with similar objectives.

    Chris Barchard

    Chris Barchard

    Chris has been involved with Voices for several years and has survived the mental health service for decades."I have taken an interest in the things psychiatry does to people and their drugs, methods and outlook but not as an enthusiast, rather to get some idea as to where the hell they are coming from"

    • Chris Barchard
    • 0207 840 3085
    • c/o National Perceptions Forum, 15th Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Cirque Nova

    Cirque Nova

    Cirque Nova is a Not-for Profit Contemporary Circus and Street Arts Organisation.We are committed to providing high quality work to people who face various levels of disadvantage and marginalisation and our work directly involves people with physical, learning and mental health disabilities, homeless and offending backgrounds as well as children and local schools.

    Cooltan Arts

    Cooltan Arts logo

    CoolTan Arts believe that well-being is enhanced by the power of creativity and are run by and for those with mental distress. We run a varied programme of creative workshops from our vibrant arts centre in Southwark’s lively Walworth Road, near Elephant & Castle; these include visual arts, batik, digital arts, video, poetry, and performing arts. Our activities include exhibitions, public art projects and websites which help break down the stigma of mental distress. CoolTan’s gallery & performance space offers other local community projects somewhere to exhibit and our volunteering programmes offer meaningful engagement and the opportunity to learn useful skills.

    Core Arts

    Core building

    Core Arts was set up in 1992 by an artist using vacant space in the old Hackney Hospital. His studio became a haven for artistic expression, as curious patients seeking refuge from the monotony of life on the psychiatric ward immersed themselves in a world of paint and colour. Core Arts was officially born, gaining charitable status in 1994. After using temporary accomadation, it obtained the lease for a vacant building where it continues to thrive and expand in a variety of directions.

    • 020 8533 3500
    • 1 St Barnabas Terrace, Homerton, London E9 6DJ
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Disability Arts Online

    Disability Arts Online

    Disability Arts Online is a web journal that gives disabled and deaf artists, performers, film-makers, writers, and critics a place to talk about developing artistic practice and accessing the arts.

    • 01273 771 878
    • Disability Arts Online 9, Jew Street, Brighton BN1 1UT
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Emma Wolfindale

    Emma Wolfindale

    Emma's work is based on her experience as a sufferer of bi-polar disorder. Journeys of low to high, depression to mania are shared through a variety of media including print, painting & film.

    Footsteps

    Foot Steps

    Footsteps uses art in all its forms to help people who live with, or who are recovering from, mental health problems. Footsteps operates through an informal, inclusive approach to discovering and developing art skills, with the support of local artists, educationalists and members with particular skills or interests to pass on to others.

    • 020 8280 2278
    • The Lido Centre 63 Mattock Lane London W13 9LA
    • Website URL
    • Email

    International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers (IGODAP)

    IGODAP logo

    The International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers (IGODAP) offers you the chance to be part of a leading voice in the promotion of disability arts and culture worldwide. The Guild's members are professional and amateur artists and performers of all genres -- visual artists, screen and stage actors, dancers, comedians and humourists, musicians, singers, speakers, poets, writers, producers, directors and others working in the arts and entertainment industries. They experience physical, intellectual or learning disablement, mental illness, or a combination.

    Josephine King

    Josephine King

    Josephine King is an artist with bipolar disorder who produces startling and evocative self portraits. Originally establishing herself as an artist in ceramics, she turned to portraiture after her diagnosis in 1999. Josephine remembers her first self-portrait and how it showed up out of nowhere. "I was in psychosis. I was desperate, not at all well in my head. I thought, the only thing to do is a painting." She worked until a woman emerged against a brilliant pink background.

    Kim Noble

    Kim Noble

    Kim Noble is a woman who, from the age of 14 years, spent 20 years in and out of hospital until she made contact with Dr Valerie Sinason and Dr Rob Hale at the Tavistock and Portman Clinics. In 1995 she began therapy and was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (originally named multiple personality disorder). D.I.D is a creative way to cope with unbearable pain. The main personality splits into several parts with dissociative or amnesic barriers between them. Having no formal art training, Kim and 13 of her personalities (alters) became interested in painting in 2004 after spending a short time with an art therapist. These 12 artists each have their own distinctive style, colours and themes, ranging from solitary desert scenes to sea scenes to abstracts, collages, and paintings with traumatic content. Many alters are unaware that they share a body with other artists.

    Mad Chicks

    Mad Chicks logo

    Mad Chicks is a new movement, which focuses on issues specific to women mental health service users, using creativity to achieve our aims and attract attention to our causes. We have developed from within Mad Pride, an international user-led movement which challenges discrimination and misinformation in relation to mental health and celebrates mad culture.

    • School of English and Humanities, Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Making A Scene

    Making A Scene logo

    Making A Scene is a service user led and managed drama group, made up of current and ex service users. We employ a paid drama tutor/director who has many years experience as an arts worker, actress and playright. We occasionally employ sessional arts workers when we are working with other groups and organizations. We have facilitators in all our workshops and groups who are current or ex service users and have gained experience of facilitating drama workshops.

    • Making a Scene c/o Solent Mind 54 Henstead Road Southampton SO15 2DD
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Maureen Oliver

    Maureen Oliver

    "Spirituality-based themes are often found in Oliver's work, yet are comprised and blended with mythological and Catholic imagery. Her works expertly reflect a lifetime of art from the instinctive pursuing of it as a child, to a training professionally in history and theory.

    • Maureen Oliver
    • Maureen Oliver C/o PO Box 3609 Bath UK BA1 2ZN
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Nicola Oliver

    Nicola Oliver

    When I fell ill, I thought it was the end of the world and I would never get back to normal. When I was sacked my thoughts were affirmed. I want my art to be used to show others with "mental distress" that there is light at the end of that tunnel.

    Personality Plus

    Personality Plus

    Personality Plus is a user led Community Interest Company established in January 2007 to engage with people interested in using creativity to challenge the stigma experienced by people given a diagnosis of personality disorder.

    • 020 8233 2854
    • Personality Plus (TAP) 3-6 Beale House Lingham Street London SW9 9HG
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Shape Arts

    Shape

    Shape is a disability-led arts organisation working to improve access to culture for disabled people. We develop opportunities for disabled artists, we train cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people, and we run participatory arts and development programmes.

    • 0845 521 3457
    • Deane House Studios 27 Greenwood Place London NW5 1LB
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Sound Minds

    Sound Minds logo

    The Sound Minds studio provides opportunities for people within the mental health system in music poetry, the visual arts and music. Sound Minds routinely engages people alienated from mainstream services. As in the much vaunted Bromley-by-Bow centre, we share a building with other community services. Organisations like Sound Minds, Core Arts in Homerton and others are part of a growing movement away from old style service solutions. We are reclaiming the arts from ‘therapists’, releasing the talents and voices of our members.

    • 020 7207 1786
    • Battersea studio, 20-22 York Road Battersea, London SW11 3QA
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Survivors Poetry

    Survivors Poetry

    Survivors' Poetry is a London-based National arts charity that works to support, promote and publish the poetry of people who have been through, or are currently in, the UK’s mental health system. We work with ‘survivors’ of psychiatric illness, drug addiction, sexual abuse, and mood-altering medication.

    • 020 7281 4654
    • Survivors’ Poetry Studio 11, Bickerton House 25-27 Bickerton Road Archway London N19 5JT
    • Website URL
    • Email

    Aidan Moesby

    Aidan Moesby - You put the ouch in touch

    Aidan Moesby is a socially engaged artist working extensively in Arts and Health, particularly around issues of mental health. He makes responsive, often site specific works, where conversations form the basis of his research. He is interested in stories, the mundane, the rituals which connect us to the everyday and place us firmly in the world in which we live. aidan runs workshops using varying approaches from installation, sculpture, digital media, book arts, oral histories and mixed media. He exhibits widely and undertake residencies, particularly around disability arts and looking at how we interact psychologically with buildings and spaces. Aidan also writes, lectures and trains around issues of mental health, equality and diversity.

    Sean Burn

    doublebind by Sean Burn

    sean burn is a writer / performer / outsider artist with active involvement in disability arts. he is part of mad studies north-east (http://madstudiesne.weebly.com/) much of seans creative work 'reclaims the languages of lunacy' based on his own experience as psychiatric survivor. he's toured plays, created sixty short films which have screened worldwide, created sound-art. his most recent visual poetry exhibition is still alone in her voices informed by living with psychosis. this haunting exhibition opened in newcastle spring 2016, touring until 2018. his third full volume of poetry is that a bruise or a tattoo? was published by shearsman press in 2013 and includes bastilles englan - about escaping asylums.