Mindful Group Exhibition
by Daisy Woodward
23 September 2011
Who? Leading mental health charity, Mind, in conjunction with some of today’s most renowned British artists, brings us Mindful: a group exhibition in the labyrinth-like setting of the Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo station, as part of a week-long arts festival at the venue. Among those featured are works by Tracey Emin, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mona Hatoum and Stuart Semple, a newly appointed Mind ambassador, who also curates the show.
What? The pieces involved are rich in diversity, from the Chapman brothers’ painted bronze sculpture I Learnt the Hard Way – a dangerous looking medley of work bench and precariously attached and dangling tools – to a lurid pink Annie Kevans painting of Princess Diana. Emin, whose art often gives viewers a raw and candid insight into her emotions and frailties, has submitted a little monolith entitled Small Lion. It is a lonely image depicting a miniature animal, arguably more dog than lion, dwarfed by its expansive white paper backdrop. Overall, the show aims to register the connection between mental health and creativity whilst highlighting its cathartic potential for both the artist and viewer.
Why? The proceeds raised by the forthcoming sales of the works will go towards the launch of Semple’s new initiative, the Mind Creative Therapies Fund, allowing those suffering from mental illness to explore forms of creative expression and its therapeutic benefits. In terms of the exhibition’s impact, the hope is that audiences will be drawn to re-evaluate their own opinions on mental illness, a matter still shrouded in stigma and discrimination, and their associations with it.