AboutCity and Hackney Mind will hold their first exhibition at the dreamspace gallery, London, to raise awareness of the work they do to combat the stigma associated with mental health issues. The week long exhibition, on show between 2nd and 6th March 2009, will feature unique art and sculpture by members of the I.R.I.E Mind programme.
I.R.I.E. Mind, formerly known as the Homerton Friends Lodge, is a mental health drop-in project based in the heart of Hackney, London and is part of City and Hackney Mind; the leading independent mental health organisation in the area. This extraordinary charity promotes and protects good mental health for all, working towards equality for individuals who have experience of mental distress, to ensure they are treated positively and with respect.
The exhibition, entitled âArt by I.R.I.E', features a collection of paintings and sculpture, created by users of the I.R.I.E. Mind programme. The programme uses art activities to engage people suffering mental health distress and integrate them back into the community. It opens doors into healthy living lifestyles as well as a more satisfactory social life, avoiding social exclusion and isolation.
Juana Silva of City and Hackney Mind says, âI.R.I.E. Mind is a service for people that experience mental health distress. We promote Inclusion, Respect, Integration and Empowerment to our service users by offering a range of therapies and activities in the community. We believe that artists who experience mental health distress should be supported and acknowledged within their community. We hope that with I.R.I.E Mind's exhibition our service users and artists will obtain the recognition and value they deserve. It will be an opportunity for them to show their art to the public, some for the first time, and feel that they are part of a society that does not discriminate against them.â
The exhibition will run at the dreamspace gallery, EC1, from Monday 2nd March to Friday 6th March, with a private view evening on Wednesday 4th March. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge and a percentage of all sale proceeds will go towards supporting I.R.I.E. in their continued good work. For more information go to www.cityandhackneymind.org.uk. Rachel Salter [Rachel.Salter@cityandhackneymind.org.uk]