World Mental Health Day 2015

World Mental Health Day 2015

“What goes up must come down.” An Isaac Newton quote hijack to mark World Mental Health Day. The reverse is also true!

The Fine Line Project team have been very busy – too busy perhaps – managing their other lives… and this site has been neglected but not forgotten. In the absence of a more extensive post for such an important day, we are publishing some images and just a few words.

Emma Boden cannet stairway 2015-09-08 15.48.25_wmA staircase to illustrate Isaac Newton’s quote and more specifically progress in mental health and mental health awareness. On a personal level, one step at a time is how we can all manage even if it must sometimes be one step forwards and two steps back. Up and down the stairs. Taking the step is what counts.

There are also the small steps in building mental health awareness, understanding and a compassionate approach that we can all strive for. Reach out and talk about mental health today and every day, help to resolve the stigma associated with mental health, because mental health affects us all. There should be no separation between mental and physical health; they go hand in hand.

Whether you’re talking about your own issues or touching base with someone else, you don’t have to be an expert to be involved in the conversation. Take someone else by the hand – if needs be the communication can be silent.

Let’s all take this small step every day. Let’s take it together.

Photography: © Emma Boden / The Fine Line Project 2015

Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take

Mental Health Awareness Week is in full swing in the UK. Check’s website to find out more about this annual campaign and events in your area.


Mental health affects us all. This is a time to mind out for ourselves and for others.

We’ve borrowed a short chapter and the simplest exercise from Zen master, peace activist and author Thich Nhat Hanh‘s Peace Is In Every Step (The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life) to share a little mindfulness with you today:

Conscious Breathing

There are a number of breathing techniques you can use to make life vivid and more enjoyable. The first exercise is very simple. As you breathe in, you say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.” And as you breathe out, say, “Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” Just that. You recognise your in-breath as an in-breath and your out-breath as an out-breath. You don’t even need to recite the whole sentence, you can use just two words: “In” and “Out.” This technique can help you to keep your mind on your breath. As you practice your breath will become peaceful and gentle, and your mind and body will also become peaceful and gentle. This is not a difficult exercise. In just a few minutes you can realise the fruit of meditation.

 Breathing in and out is very important, and it is enjoyable. Our breathing is the link between our body and mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking of one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, “In” and “Out,” we bring body and mind back together, and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge.

 To me, breathing is a joy that I cannot miss. Every day, I practice conscious breathing, and in my small meditation room, I have calligraphed this sentence: “Breathe, you are alive!” Just breathing and smiling can make us very happy, because when we breathe consciously we recover ourselves completely and encounter life in the present moment.

© Thich Nhat Hanh, 1991 / Bantam Books / Rider / Ebury Press / Random House

the fine line project zen k 2 2015-04-29 15.47.40_wm

Let’s keep talking about mental health all year round.

Check back soon for our next fundraising event.

Photography: Green Graphic – © Mental Health Foundation; Zen Garden and Poppies – © Emma Boden / The Fine Line Project

Exhibition Review: Art and Soul ‘Expressions’


Art & Soul group work – Tree of Recovery

This uplifting show, curated by Mark de Novellis and displayed in the Stables Gallery, within the beautiful grounds of Orleans House in Twickenham, runs for 2 more weeks. Art & Soul’s ‘Expressions’ is well worth a visit, showcasing a selection of around 100 artworks by independent artists, with most pieces for sale, some for as little as £20.


Ann E Donegan – Turquoise Cat


Jim Fuller – The Creature


Moira Morrison – Monet’s Garden


John Bosher – Colourful Flowers


George Boxley – Recovery One

A number of the works are remarkably accomplished in the traditional sense, others are imbued with a naïf feel which renders them just as desirable, yet more are plucked straight from their creator’s imagination, raw, unadulterated and compelling – all are full of ‘Expressions’. This is creativity unleashed. As Pablo Picasso said “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Much of the art on display is refreshingly free from the self-consciousness and strictures which tend to weigh down works destined for more formal galleries and art settings. All credit due to the talented individual creators, and also to the Art & Soul coordinators and volunteers as well as Julia Ruppert, an art therapist who facilitates the sessions, offering extra support where required. As Julia said: “By focussing on process rather than product, we look at removing the pressure to “make art”, encouraging the group to re-discover the stress-releasing properties of the creative process and engage in flow.”


Simon Raymond – Tree of Good and Evil


Asha Choudhury – Church Painting


Win Aldous – Fantasy Ferns

This ethos is reflected in one of the empowering quotes on the Art & Soul website: “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury.


Heather Payne – Daffodils


Chris Wallis – Sunset


Nick Farey – Arvo Paint


Alex Gajowniczek – Seascape


Ray Heath – Flower Show

   Essentially Art & Soul seems to invite members of the group to relax, to have fun, to explore and to feel engaged. Creating something special appears to be the end result, the icing on the cake and the material for this show.


Stephen J Graham – No


Imma Maddox – It’s a Whig


Jane Horscroft – The Road to Understanding

As one of the artists, also a film maker said: “Art & Soul is a great chance to connect to art and lose yourself in that space. It doesn’t matter what that space is specifically – you get to talk about and explore your creativity as well as build on your skills.” Members, who meet once a week, range in age from 20 to 80 and come from all walks of life.


The Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Meena Bond opening the show

Richmond Mayor Councillor Meena Bond, who officially opened the exhibition in April said: “Art & Soul’s ‘Expressions’ is incredibly inspiring, so much so in fact that I’m going to buy a piece!”

 One of the most interesting narrative pieces, was the Art & Soul group work (shown in full, top), ‘The Tree of Recovery’, not for sale, a powerful graphic collaboration using collage and words.


Art & Soul group – Tree of Recovery – detail



Fazia Kahn – Abstract Pattern

The show is wonderfully diverse, with paintings, paper, textile hangings and 3-D objets. This year it has been dedicated to the memory of Nick Farey – a regular Art & Soul member who sadly passed away in 2013. Folk duo Franklin and multi-talented musician and artist Jun entertained guests at the busy opening which was organised and run by volunteers alongside staff from Orleans House Gallery.


Ian Leeks Sunset in Paris


Maria Angel Jackson – Through the Window

With many thanks to photographer Roger Hutchins for the pictures. If you’re in the Richmond / Twickenham / Kingston area make sure you pay a visit and perhaps even invest in one of the works. You would make the artist’s day and what’s more, you might be buying a future ‘Picasso’!


Cara Lees – African Mask


James Hatfield – Still Life with Blue Jug

Expressions runs until June 29th at the Stables, Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ. Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 1:00 – 5:30; Sunday 2:00- 5:30. Admission is free.

Art & Soul is a member-led organisation of artists from the Richmond Borough and south west London area. Over the last 16 years, the group has promoted and celebrated mental and emotional wellbeing through its biennial exhibitions and art workshops. This vital organisation continues to thrive with funding from Richmond Borough’s Orleans House Gallery and, this year, a grant from the Time to Change campaign, run collaboratively by Rethink Mental Illness and Mind. These are both charities that The Fine Line Project has supported in the past – our first fundraiser was in fact for Richmond Mind who are actively involved with Art & Soul and had a group artwork (below) on display in the show.


Group work: Graffiti by Ben Rise, Chris Garner, Dean Johnstone, David Blanch, John Henry Nemeth, Karl Micholdson, Kevin Archer, Naser Miscony and Nimalisi Fernando

Find out more about Art & Soul from their website and blog.


Jonathan Gilbert – Why So Serious?

Text © Emma Boden for The Fine Line Project – Photography © Roger Hutchins – you’re welcome to share the content on these pages provided that you name check and link back to The Fine Line Project. Thank you!

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Mayor of Camden Rethink Cheque Handover

We’re still in recovery from the Ralph’s Life CD launch, bowled over by the quality of the artists and their sounds and there are a few standout tunes that keep spinning round in our heads – love that!

Let’s hear it one more time for the launch gig artists: Snippet, Debs McCoy, Ambrose Chappel, Plum, Samuel Simmons, Mono Life, Ded Rabbit, Twin Hidden, Stillia, Titors Insignia, Culann, Elia and The Low Tears and Feral Five. We’re looking forward to reviewing some of their music over the next few weeks and publishing gig photos by Patrick Barthès.

Patrick’s just sent through a couple of shots of the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jonathan Simpson, handing over the first donation cheque of £2500 to Rethink Mental Illness and with our signed poster in one of Proud Camden’s funked up stables – awesome pic!


Don’t forget that The Ralph’s Life CDs are now available online – wherever you are make sure you buy at least one here – £12 inc UK delivery and tell all your friends! Here’s the full list of artists, all paw picked by Ralph, and their 40 fantastic tracks, with all proceeds going to Rethink Mental Illness:

Ambrose Chappel – Pick It Up ( ft. iKashflo)
Culann – Jerusalem
Debs McCoy – Wendy
Elia and The Low Tears – Sweet Lies
Fat Goth – Creepy Lounge
Feral Five – Skin
Fiona Soe Paing – Daymoon Sun (with thanks to BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Daphne Oram Trust for permission to use the sample on this track)
Graham Marshall – Freedom Call
Great Reckoning – Bleed For Your Life
Have Mercy Las Vegas – Pappy
Helen McCookerybook – Monday’s Mood
Jess Harwood – Feeling Fine
King And Queen Of Sorry – (Couldn’t Get) High Enough
Matthew Hidden – A Berry Bursts
Mog Stanley – Mind Games
Mono Life – Disco In Paris
Plum – Casting Shadows
Pumajaw – Mask
Robb Murphy – Never Letting You Go
Shiny Rhino – I Love My Radio
Snippet – Celebration
Steve Heron – Eleanor
Stillia – You Only Live Once
Tea Street Band – Push The Feeling On (Tom Eno Remix)
The Bedroom Hour – X Marks The Spot
The Fireflys – Hummingbird
The Folk Remedy – Sirens
The Low Countries – At The End Of The Day
The Mutineers – Tell Me Why
The Ninth Watch – Forever’s a Long Time
The Travelling Band – Took My Soul
The Varese’s – Spotlight
Tingle In The Netherlands – Prostitute’s Handbag
TiTORS iNSiGNia – Beg, Plead And Pray
Tom Robinson – The Mighty Sword Of Justice
Velocets – Secrets
Vukovi – Schwagger
We Came From The Sea – Animalskin
Whispery Club – The Boy
Wullae Wright (prod. by Ambrose Chappel) – Fight Or Flight

Listen to some sample tracks here.

Keep an eye on the Ralph’s Life music blog for further announcements including money raised from the launch gig and future plans.

Let’s keep talking about mental health, and music and creativity. Please follow us here and on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the word. We’ll also be announcing our next event soon!


Rethink Mental Illness CD Launch Camden

We enjoyed 12 hours of standout talent at the Ralph’s Life CD launch on Sunday. Hats off to all the artists who performed and a special mention for Samuel Simmons and Sisteray – the former for standing in for a missing band at the last minute and some of the finest singing on the day, and the latter for not getting a chance to sing or play with no thanks to the person who accidentally lifted some vital kit thus preventing them from performing. We were all so looking forward to the headline act but Londoners, you get a second chance – don’t miss Sisteray’s next gig, this Saturday 8th. Check their site for more info and other upcoming events.

Big thanks to the Mayor of Camden, councillor Jonathan Simpson for his pitch perfect speech and safe handover of the £2500 presentation cheque to Rethink Mental Illness – the real funds have been digitally delivered and there will be more from Ralph.


Thanks to Dave at for all his support and the formidable (with a French accent please) RKC team headed by Jérôme who broadcast live from the venue and managed to get the Ralph’s CD aired in between acts – bravo! Three cheers to the Proud Camden team on the day especially the 2 ace multi-tasking sound engineers.

We are grateful to our own little team of volunteers – Grace, Samir, Billy and George – who worked the room for cash donations for Rethink and helped get the longest list of artists we’ve had to date to sign a single poster (2 actually) – we asked the ever generous Fine Art Solutions to print extra large versions for the occasion. The signed posters will be auctioned at a later date.

Here’s a shoutout for everyone who attended, donated and promoted the show in their own way – thank you for your support which is much appreciated.

Last but by no means least, thanks to Mike Lindley aka Ralph and Lynn for pulling the whole show together – crowdfunder, CD and the launch gig – a bit of a roller coaster ride… Keep an eye on the Ralph’s Life blog for an announcement on monies raised and future plans.

Meanwhile we urge you, not for the first time nor the last, to buy one of the brilliant CDs featuring most of the artists from the 2nd March gig and a whole load of other talent, 40 fantastic indie tracks with all proceeds going to Rethink Mental Illness. Find out who donated tracks here

and listen to some sample tracks here.

To follow, with big thanks for his ongoing support for The Fine Line Project, some amazing photos by Patrick Barthès – trust us, they’ll be worth the wait. We’ll also be posting some CD reviews featuring acts from this truly epic day.

One more shoutout for the artists and bands that performed, some seriously great sounds – check them out:

Snippet, Debs McCoy, Ambrose Chappel, Plum, Samuel Simmons, Mono Life, Ded Rabbit, Twin Hidden, Stillia, Titors Insignia, Culann, Elia and The Low Tears and Feral Five.

Thanks again folks and let’s all keep talking about mental health, and music and creativity! Follow us here and on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the word.

Ralph’s Life Presents: Rethink Charity CD Launch


Post updated 22 February 2014 – some exciting news – we’re delighted to announce that ‘the rock’n’roll Mayor’ of Camden, Councillor Jonathan Simpson will be presenting the Ralph’s Life cheque to the Rethink Mental Illness fundraising team on the night of the gig.

Have you got your tickets yet? Links are at the bottom of this page.

Asked about the Ralph’s Life project, Paul Jenkins, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness said:

“We are delighted with the efforts of The Fine Line Project and the talented Mike Lindley. One in four people will have a mental health problem at some point in their lives, so this is an issue that affects all of us. For those affected, the stigma and discrimination they face can be worse than the illness itself. We believe one of the best ways to combat stigma is by encouraging people to talk more openly about this important issue. We hope that the CD and the upcoming gig encourage people to talk more openly about their mental health.”

Ralph’s Life CD Launch gig / Proud Camden Mar 2nd / Tickets: 14 bands for £10 + booking fee

Ralph’s Life Charity CD: £12 inc UK delivery

All proceeds to:

Rethink Mental Illness

To find out more about this project and the CD read our previous posts, Ralph’s Life: Donation and Camden Gig News and Our Very First CD, with Ralph’s Life!

Ralph’s Life: Donation and Camden Gig News

Here’s the latest news on the Ralph’s Life fundraising campaign and the forthcoming CD launch.

Ralph’s master, music blogger Mike Lindley is poised to present the first donation cheque to Rethink Mental Illness, a massive £2500, part of the funds raised during the crowdfunding campaign which closed on 3rd January. Our friend Patrick has prepared a swishy presentation version of the cheque which features the names of all the artists and bands that donated tracks to the forthcoming Ralph’s Life CD – 40 acts in total. This whole campaign has also been supported by the fabulous team at Radio Kaos Caribou and countless good people from the music community and beyond, both on and offline. We thank you all again. Take a look at our cheque (click on the image below for a full screen view), which also features Wullae Wright’s cute Ralph artwork.


The cheque will be handed over to Rethink Mental Illness at the forthcoming Proud Camden, London fundraising gig on 2nd March. We’re hoping the local mayor will be present along with some other exciting guests.

Order your tickets today!

The all day gig, which will celebrate the launch of the CD, runs from 12 noon to 12 midnight. The line up includes 12 of the acts that feature on the Ralph’s Life CD:

Twin Hidden
Debs McCoy
Ambrose Chappel
Mono Life
Titors Insignia
The Bedroom Hour
Feral Five
Elia and The Low Tears

with new supporters Ded Rabbit, and local band Sisteray in the headline spot.

We’re pretty sure that Radio Kaos Caribou will be over to record and potentially broadcast the show on the day.

This is certainly going to be an unmissable event, so much talent all on one stage and 14 bands for a mere tenner – a total bargain too – with every penny going to a good cause. Needless to say charity CDs will be for sale at the gig. If you can’t make it to Camden, we’ve posted a link to buy the double album below so, wherever you are, you can still help Ralph and us to raise yet more for this crucial cause. Join us in supporting mental health awareness. All proceeds from the gig and the CD are going to Rethink Mental Illness.

Pre-order Ralph’s Life Charity CD – £12 inc UK delivery.

Thanks for spreading the word!