As times get harder the challenges facing those with mental health issues become ever more complex – climate crisis, cost of living crisis, not to mention the rest… Take time to take care of each other, kindness is key, every day and don’t forget to be kind to yourself.Continue reading
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’!
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.
Find out more about Art & Soul from their website and blog.
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!
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.
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 theonlinefestival.com 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.
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.”
All proceeds to:
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.
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:
The Bedroom Hour
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.
Thanks for spreading the word!
2014 is off to a mighty fine start for The Fine Line Project and friends, in particular Ralph, rock dog supreme. If you’re new to this blog, Ralph is a Jack Russell whose master Mike runs a popular Indie music blog and a weekly show on Radio Kaos Caribou, also a big supporter of ours. Ralph spent his Christmas and New Year leashed to Twitter, Facebook and an online crowdfunding project to raise money for a CD in aid of mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness. You can read more about that in our last blog, including a full track listing – 40 brilliant artists have donated their sounds to the project.
If you haven’t come across a crowdfunder before, it’s basically an all or nothing situation. Either you raise your cash in the allotted time or you don’t get a penny. So things were a wee bit tense down at Ralph’s kennel on 2 January, as the 11th hour drew in and the money was still short. Thanks to an epic (this is definitely the right word) number of Tweets, including Christmas messages and personal appeals to every single one of some 5000 followers, and a rather sleepless night (we set alarms to follow the action from down South, at least we got some sleep), Mike managed to pull it off at the very last minute, topping his target of £5000 by an extra £120 on 3 January around 9 in the morning.
WOW! £5120 almost all thanks to the power of music and creative people who’ve supported this cause on Twitter, supplemented by a crowd of well wishers from further afield.
Some of that total will be wagging its way straight off to the charity – look out for a swishy presentation cheque, currently being designed – while the rest will fund the CD and a launch gig in London, with ticket sales once again donated to Rethink.
*** We’ve always maintained that it’s not just about the money – awareness goes hand in hand with fundraising and we reckon generates much bigger and better things. The Ralph’s Life CD fundraiser has achieved way more than £5K+ in donations over the last few weeks. Forty fantastic artists have pledged their beautiful music and have lent their voices to a small campaign with a massive impact, hundreds and collectively thousands more have shown their support through Twitter, Facebook and via blogs and radio stations across the land and way beyond – lots of other countries joined in – with everyone united for one cause: talking about and raising money for mental health awareness and helping to counter the stigma which so often accompanies mental illness. ***
A lot of fun was also had along the way, especially in the build up to Christmas and New Year with extra music tracks donated, CDs, downloads, restaurant meals, artwork, T-shirts, cocktail recipes, special cassettes, knitted owls (we so wanted one!), poems, guitars, airtime, blog space, newspaper articles, interviews, RTs, MTs, SOs, future promises of support and so much more – it’s been an incredibly creative campaign all round.
One of our favourite things – listen to the RKC jingle:
This is just the beginning of course… Ralph’s master is now rather busy sorting the 240+ pledges from the crowdfunder, organising production of the 40 track CD and preparing for the London launch, a 14 band all day gig at Proud in Camden. We’re helping as much as we can. Whether you’ve been supporting this campaign all along or have just joined the ride, please help us too – let’s take this to the next level.
Support and Follow:
@fruitbatwalton (that’s Ralph) and @FineLineProject on Twitter, Ralph’s Mental Health Awareness Page on Facebook, The Fine Line Project on Facebook and please spread the word about the launch gig. Here’s the Facebook event page for that and here’s the crucial link:
The Proud Camden gig is due to feature 13 of the bands from the CD and one local guest band –that’s 14 bands, all for a mere £10 and with all proceeds to Rethink:
If you can’t make it to the gig, please keep an eye out for the CD – we’ll need your help to sell all the copies and raise even more money for Rethink.
Once again folks, THANK YOU!
Today’s the big day! Ralph’s Life has launched a 6 week crowd funding campaign to produce a charity CD featuring 40 brilliant tracks by (mainly) Indie artistes. We know they’re all brilliant because we did a mega micro-review session on Twitter covering every single number during a special show courtesy of the fantastic Radio Kaos Caribou a few days ago.
Wullae Wright, one of the talented contributors to the double album has created some stunning artwork featuring all the artistes’ names and the one and only Ralph, of course. Plans are afoot (apaw?) to get some prints made.
The support for this great music project has so far been phenomenal and now’s the time to turn up the volume by sharing the story with as many people as you can. We want to raise as much awareness and money as possible. Every penny raised will go to charity Rethink Mental Illness – although they’re UK based their reach is global. Rethink also run ground-breaking campaigns like Time To Change with Mind Charity making a direct impact on how mental illness is viewed, discussed and managed at every level. It really is Time To Talk about mental health – this should be in the same breath as physical health – the two go hand in hand after all.
A couple of other artists are donating proceeds from their latest track sales over the next 6 weeks. Check this epic number by Graham Marshall whose track will feature on the double CD and this beautiful song by his friend Jane Allison.
To listen to some of the tracks on Ralph’s Life double album check out The Fine Line Project on Soundcloud.
The most crucial link of all, here is Ralph’s Life’s Charity Music CD’s Crowdfunding page – please make a pledge today (from as little as £1) and ask all your friends, family and work colleagues to get involved with this important cause. Mental health issues affect 1 in 4 worldwide – none of us can afford to be complacent. Let’s all help to bring about some change today.
We thank you in advance for spreading the good word and the great music!
It’s been a busy week for Ralph, top dog on the Indie music scene. He’s now managed to secure a grand total of 40 brilliant tracks for The Fine Line Project / Rethink fundraising CD with graphic design work donated by Simon Meakin and SCG Advertising. You can listen to all of the artistes’ tracks on Ralph’s special show on RKC / Radio Kaos Caribou tonight at 9pm GMT and tune in to some of them talking about this amazing project.
Later this week Ralph will be setting up some crowdfunding links for supporters to make pledges and get their paws on this incredible double CD, loaded with supreme sounds. Here’s a list of all the generous artistes who’ve contributed tracks to this project, in alphabetical order and with our BIGGEST thanks:
|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 the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Daphne Oram Trust who gave permission for 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 (track TBC)|
|Matthew Hidden – A Berry Bursts|
|Mog Stanley – Devil In My Head (track TBC)|
|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|
There have also been donations for the pledges from The Dogs in Edinburgh and Food by Jonny Marsh in Manchester. Every single penny raised will be going to support Rethink Mental Illness.
Big thanks to the acts who’ve been bigging this story up on Twitter – we’ll tag you all as we progress through this project.
We’re particularly grateful to Graham Marshall who, as well as donating a track to the CD, is pledging his fee from his next gig and all proceeds from the independent sales of his track to the cause. Go check him out live in London on the 5th December at Cecil Sharp House if you can. Here’s his track, Freedom Call (buy it now! All funds to Rethink) and here’s a little sneak preview, The Mighty Sword of Justice by the legendary Tom Robinson, both to feature on Ralph’s CD. To hear the rest, don’t forget to tune into RKC tonight at 9 – click on their logo below for access. There’ll be more news from us and the heroic Ralph soon.