18 September 2020
Online art exhibition celebrates creative talents of people with mental health conditions
Artwork inspired by collections in museums and art galleries and
created by people with mental health conditions is featuring in an
The Fresh Art project, which is a partnership between Avon and
Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, Creativity
Works, Bath Museums Partnership and Bath Mind, aims to harness the
power of creativity to make a difference to the lives of people who
have been experiencing mental health conditions.
The challenge of lockdown has not stopped people with mental
health conditions being creative and using art as therapy. In
normal circumstances participants meet for two hours a week in
museums around Bath as part of a 12-week programme. But this year
the programme has been delivered virtually because the COVID-19
pandemic forced museums to close. The participants worked online
with museum staff and artists to create artwork inspired by museum
Christina Greenland, Bath and North East Somerset Therapies Team
Manager, at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust,
said: "It's great that we have been able to continue the Fresh Arts
programme this year, despite the museums being closed. The arts can
really help us make sense of our experiences in life, whether
that's in therapy, making things at home, working together or
looking at art with others in the community. Many people
referred to mental health services find that engaging in the arts
is an important part of their recovery as it can offer time and
space for reflection, as well as build confidence and provide a
social pathway. The arts community in BANES, including the museum
and galleries, are a fantastic resource for us."
One of the participants from the project said: ''I want to thank
everyone at Fresh Art for their support. Being part of the project
has made a real difference to my life. It has been a 'lifeline' to
me, and I want to thank Fresh Art for the opportunities it has
In celebration of the project, images of the work created are
now being displayed in an online exhibition which can be viewed here
Louise Campion, Pathways to Wellbeing Manager at the Holburne
Museum said: "Everyone in our Museums' Partnership has been
delighted that Fresh Art has been able to continue during lockdown.
Despite the doors being closed, we've been able to use our
collections and objects to inspire creativity and curiosity when
people needed it, perhaps more than ever! The power of historical
objects to inspire and connect becomes even more poignant and
precious when we aren't able to meet in the museums."
Paul Rimmer, from Bath Mind, who supported people throughout the
course, said: "It's been fantastic that, even during lockdown,
Fresh Arts has been able to continue inspiring all involved,
enriching lives when needed most."
All work featured in the online exhibition will be displayed on
walls across AWP's buildings to enhance the clinical environment
for staff, patients and visitors to enjoy.