Case Study

Arty-Folks – Making Headway on Mental Health

Embarking on an art projects to improve mental health Arty – Folks, a visual arts and peer support group in Coventry, recently held an exhibition: ‘The Story Behind the Face’.

The exhibition was created by a group of 18 – 30 year olds who are members of Arty – Folks’ Making Headway group.

Using photos of themselves the young artists had to manipulate the self portraits , helping them to express their feelings and emotions.

Lorella Medici, Group Manager said: “It’s all about self-acceptance, everything we do is about going towards that. It’s been an interesting project.

“After the first session, a lot of them wanted to change their photo. It’s a challenging experience but it has really benefitted the participants.”

One of the artists, Amber, has been involved with Arty – Folks since the start of the year, and uses art to cope with some of her issues:

“I have anxiety and depression, I can’t regulate my emotions very well. If often means I get very unstable in certain situations and I get stressed quite quickly. I started doing art to relax me.

“What I like about this place is it’s all mental health related, you find people with similar issues to you, it’s great to find some common ground.

“I’ve enjoyed doing the projects here, they focus on your feelings and show you how to relate to the world, this project was strange because we’ve had to manipulate our faces! It’s the first time I’ve had something involved in an exhibition and it feels really good, I’ve been looking forward to this all week.”

As a talented artist Amber produces work for friends, family and even sells some pieces.

This exhibition was funded by Heart of England Community Foundation.

You can find out more about Arty-Folks at: http://arty-folks.co.uk/wp/