An array of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists have donated artwork to Mind’s first ever online art auction, which opens for bids today. Hosted on auction website Paddle8.com, the auction will raise money for the charity’s Creative Therapies Fund,which enables local Minds to run arts related activities for people with mental health problems.
With key pieces from Mind ambassador Stuart Semple, Martin Creed, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Chris Ofili and Ben Eine, the auction is set to attract a high number of collectors to the site.
Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed has donated two hand painted limited edition unique vinyls to support the charity’s auction, featuring short, sharp, funny yet touching songs delivered by Creed and his band.
Mind has found that arts, such as creative writing, visual art, dance/movement therapy and film-making can serve as a valuable form of support and treatment for the one in four people who experience a mental health problem each year. Whilst talking about emotions can be extremely challenging, creative therapies can help people to examine their feelings and find an outlet for them, providing a powerful means of expression and a release from trauma.
The Creative Therapies Fund, set up by Mind with ambassador Stuart Semple in 2012, enables local Minds to run arts classes for people with mental health problems in a therapeutic environment, and has supported 1300 people through 28 projects across England and Wales since 2012. The projects enable people to express themselves, without having to use words, with a trained therapist. Engaging with the arts, whether that is painting, writing or singing, can help people to process feelings, build confidence and resilience, develop practical and social skills, and boost wellbeing.
Stuart Semple, contemporary artist and Mind ambassador, has an ongoing anxiety disorder himself, following a traumatic near death allergic reaction in his teens. Stuart was left with severe anxiety and an eating disorder, and consequently understands first-hand the transformative potential of the arts.
Mind ambassador Stuart Semple said:
“I know the power that creativity has in contributing to positive mental health. I honestly believe if I hadn't been able to express myself through painting I might not be here today.
Even now, when I'm going through a tough patch my art is there to help me through it
“Already the Creative Therapies Fund has helped thousands of people throughout England and Wales. At a time where the need for mental health services is at an all-time high, and resources sadly are limited, the fund is more important than ever.
“Sometimes people find it hard to express what they are going through by using words, so creative therapies make a lot of sense. To be able to provide creative outlets for those that desperately need them, with proper trained professionals in therapeutic environments is so important. Creativity is how we express ourselves and once people connect, or re-connect to that capacity, we see amazing change."
I know that this fund and the projects it supports has a massive potential to make a huge impact on so many lives
The Creative Therapies Fund has already changed many users’ lives for the better. When Karen* was diagnosed with depression, art provided her with a means to express her grief and isolation and she formed strong bonds with the other women in the group. Karen’s journey began at home, with individual counselling sessions, before she was able to travel to her local Mind for her counselling. When these ended, she felt able to participate in group art therapy. Eventually, through her classes, she gained the confidence to become the volunteer leader of the group.
“Art Therapy has been invaluable. It has helped me to learn that it’s good to socialise and meet new people after years of being isolated. With it being therapy based, it gave me time to explore some complex emotions that I had been unable to verbalise - to have this in a safe setting has changed my life for the better. I’ve also started to explore more art and painting at home.
It has given me the confidence to become a volunteer for Mind, which was totally unthinkable before art therapy
"It’s encouraged me to go out. Previously every day was hellish, but now Thursdays, when I have my sessions, are days I really look forward to.”
Mind’s auction to raise vital funds for the Creative Therapies Fund and help people like Karen goes live for bids from Thursday 15 June to Thursday 29 June 2017 at https://paddle8.com/auction/mind/
*Karen is not her real name, name has been changed to protect anonymity.