Topic:  Resilience and Visual Arts Practice – Art in Mind (AIM), Young people’s Community Group

Resources: You can download the slides.

Session summary: What is resilience and how does it relate to visual arts? Drawing on examples and experience from their own lives and artwork, the work of the group, and a collaborative project undertaken with other young people together with the University of Brighton this session will consider what resilience means to people and how visual arts can aid in building young people’s resilience. Using artwork, film and photography the group will explore how the resilience components of the Resilience Framework relate to visual arts and how they can be used in the everyday lives of young people and the young at heart. Using examples from their own experiences the group will talk about how art and being part of an art community group has improved their own well being and helped them make resilient moves in their own lives. The group will discuss topics around art, creativity and identity such as what is an artist, and do you have to be good at art to be an artist?

Biography: Art in Mind is an innovative youth led organisation that has been running since 2011. The purpose of AIM is to work with young people with experience of mental health problems to alleviate social isolation and create a safe environment for personal expression, whilst offering an opportunity to expand skills and gain confidence through the process of creating and exhibiting artwork and resources designed to raise awareness of mental health issues. Led by volunteers with experience of mental health problems aged 16-24 AIM uses art workshops, exhibitions and learning resources to promote, campaign and raise awareness of mental health issues in order to challenge negative stereotypes, stigma and discrimination and highlight the importance of looking after mental health and mental well-being. The young people of AIM are passionate about creative expression and believe art is a powerful form of communication and self-expression that is ideally suited to exploring mental health issues in a profound yet sensitive way that is accessible to all. AIM has successfully partnered with local organisations such as Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Hove Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Brighton, Touched Theatre, Jubilee Library and the Youth Arts Festival.

Most interested: Young people, practitioners, researchers, parents and academics.

Key readings: Taylor, S., & Hart, A. (2011). Mental Health and Resilient Therapy Toolkit. Brighton: Boingboing.
Winter, S., Buttery, L., Gahan, L., Talyor, S., Gagnon, E., Hart, A., & Macpherson, H. (2012). Visual Arts Practice for Resilience: A guide for working with young people with complex needs. Brighton: Boingboing.

This session took place on Monday 25 November 2013.

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