Mental health exhibition puts people in the picture
Published by Joanna Fitzgerald-Gibson for Southdown Housing Association Ltd in Communities and also in Health, Housing
A photographic exhibition showcasing the work of people who suffer from severe and enduring mental health problems will go on public display this weekend, Saturday May 12, 10am – 4pm at the Preston Park Resource Centre, Brighton, and again on Saturday May 26.
The Mistaken Identities exhibition is part of the Brighton Fringe Festival and organised by Southdown.
Southdown provides day support at the centre for clients, aged from 18 to 65, who suffer with conditions ranging from schizophrenia and depression to autism.
The Mistaken Identities project was designed to help address the stigma attached to mental illness and the people coping with it.
Zorenah, a client who took part in the project, said: “Many people in the community who find out you have a mental illness almost forget who you are. Instead, you become a mask for the illness. You have the same needs and wants as anybody else and yet you the person cease to exist.”
The clients had access to professional help during the project workshops with two photographers, a local actor and local artist, allowing them to expand their work.
Susanne Pospisil-Prior, Southdown Service Manager at the Preston Park Resource Centre, said: “The next step for the clients in being able to say that recovery is possible, is opening the doors to the public. The exhibition aims to celebrate the diversity of the clients and highlight that anyone can suffer from mental health problems.”
Mark, another client, said: “It felt good to have time to think and explore what I identify with and what makes me who I am, before deciding what kind of image I wanted to show to the public.”
Peter, who also took part in the Mistaken Identities project, said: “The pieces of art that we have created are a good reflection of our identity.”
The displays will be on show on Saturday May 12 and Saturday May 26 between 10am-4pm at the Preston Park Resource Centre, 18 Preston Park Avenue, Brighton, BN1 6HL (Tel: 07977 198583). All members of the public are welcome.