Dr Melanie Jordan ~ Mental health photography and Kubin’s artwork

In this post Melanie Jordan from the IMH introduces two contemporary art ventures with mental health themes that may perhaps be of interest to IMH members. A BBC News photography article and a Nottingham Contemporary exhibit and talk.

1.

In this ‘BBC News In Pictures’ article Picturing Mental Health published on September the 12th  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-19555676) Phil Coomes explores mental health via the work of photographers Marwah Al-Mugait and Michael McGuinness. It is noted this subject is ‘notoriously difficult to photograph without resorting to cliché and intrusion’, nevertheless ‘photography can be a tool to discover and an extra sensory experience’. Bipoloar disorder is explored via compelling pictures by Marwah Al-Mugait alongside discussion of intrusion and the notions of trust, understanding, and collaborative work with patients. The role of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust is then documented by Michael McGuinness. ‘Having been granted access Michael immersed himself in the Trust’s work and the subject of mental health.’ Many weeks were spent working with the Trust. The work tackles issues of stigma and captures the lives of staff and service users. This article and its photographs are available online:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-19555676.

2.

Kubin’s (1877–1959) work is exhibited currently at Nottingham Contemporary (until September the 30th). A Nottingham Contemporary (http://nottinghamcontemporary.org/) event at 7pm on September the 20th may be of interest:

A (free) talk by art historian and curator Gemma Blackshaw, who will discuss the work of Kubin in light of the ‘Madness & Modernity’ exhibition she curated at the Wellcome Collection (London, 2009) and the Wien Museum (Vienna, 2010). Book online: http://nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/gemma-blackshaw.

‘Haunting drawings of death, trauma and fantastical creatures inhabiting imaginary worlds sprung from Alfred Kubin’s pen at the beginning of the 20th century … Kubin never recovered from a deeply troubled childhood, losing his mother at a young age. Following a failed suicide attempt at the age of nineteen and a complete nervous breakdown at twenty, Kubin was sent to Munich to study at the art academy. This was where he finally found an outlet’ (http://nottinghamcontemporary.org/art/alfred-kubin).

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