Exhibition Review: Art and Soul ‘Expressions’

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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.

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Ann E Donegan – Turquoise Cat

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Jim Fuller – The Creature

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Moira Morrison – Monet’s Garden

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John Bosher – Colourful Flowers

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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.”

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Simon Raymond – Tree of Good and Evil

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Asha Choudhury – Church Painting

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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.

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Heather Payne – Daffodils

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Chris Wallis – Sunset

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Nick Farey – Arvo Paint

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Alex Gajowniczek – Seascape

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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.

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Stephen J Graham – No

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Imma Maddox – It’s a Whig

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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.

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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.

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Art & Soul group – Tree of Recovery – detail

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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.

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Ian Leeks Sunset in Paris

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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’!

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Cara Lees – African Mask

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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.

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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.

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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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Crowd Funding Campaign: Music Supporting Mental Health Awareness

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.

Wullae Wright for #RalFLP

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!

Ralph’s Life Fundraising CD

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.

Ralph Fine Line Project Rethink CD cover

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.

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Mog Stanley @ The Fine Line Project, Southampton Cellar

First up and first on stage for our Rethink benefit last month, one man band, blues guitarist and singer Mog Stanley.

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Mog drove a heroic number of miles to join us, stopping off on the way to record one of his feature tracks ‘Hands’ at St Pauls Lifestyle’s studio.

We loved Mog’s signature twangy guitar blues sounds, from laid back through to foot stomping, all to the accompaniment of his unique percussion ensemble – a whole box of self-assembled tricks, complete with shaking shoes.

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Since the Fine Line Project gig Mog’s been working on some new material and new sounds, including this melodic ballad Moving On:

Mog Stanley Moving On

Keep an eye on his site for more new tracks and news of his forthcoming album.

Big thanks to Steve Maynard who took all The Fine Line Project photos at The Cellar, Southampton including those shown here.

Read more about Mog Stanley and his St Pauls Lifestyle session on their dedicated Fine Line Project pages.

Big thanks again to Mog, the whole team at St Pauls Lifestyle and The Cellar Southampton for hosting the event.

June 8th Rethink Benefit at The Cellar Southampton: Press Release

TheFineLineProject6June2013wPress Information:

The Fine Line Project’s Latest Music for Mental Health Benefit – an evening of outstanding sounds in aid of Rethink featuring Noah Francis, Where’s Strutter?, Charlotte Campbell and Mog Stanley

Following a couple of sell out gigs at The Troubadour Club in London, The Fine Line Project are heading South with their music for mental health project and have organised a gig at The Cellar in Southampton in association with cult music site St Paul’s Lifestyle.

The gig which takes place on Saturday 8th June features acclaimed Welsh soul singer Noah Francis, hugely popular Mancunian band Where’s Strutter?, talented up-coming local chanteuse Charlotte Campbell and one-man bluesband Mog Stanley.

Tickets are selling at £8 in advance and £10 on the door. All proceeds from ticket sales and donations will go to Rethink Mental Illness.

The Fine Line Project is a creative arts initiative supporting awareness and fundraising for mental health charities. The project focuses on great artists and great sounds, all for a great cause. Mental illness affects an astounding one in four with many affected more seriously by the stigma linked to being diagnosed than the actual condition.

Rethink directly supports almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone. The charity’s website and helplines give information and advice to 500,000 more and changes policy and attitudes for millions. Rethink’s services, support groups, and members cover every county in England, giving them local insight and helping to spread innovations nationally. All their work is governed by people who have lived through mental illness.

Contact The Fine Line Project for further info.

http://www.rethink.org/

http://www.stpaulslifestyle.com/

http://www.southamptoncellar.com/

BUY TICKETS HERE

Check Out Our Rethink Cheque!

Today is a momentous day in the UK today with the Mental Health (Discrimination) Act passed, scrapping unfair legislation preventing people with mental health issues from being Company Directors, sitting on a jury or being MPs. Find out more here.  All the more reason to keep on supporting mental health charities!

And so to our latest news – here at last is our beautiful presentation cheque with a BIG UP for ace designer Patrick and Fine Art Solutions who printed it in just one day:

a £1000 cheque for Rethink Mental Illness raised at The Troubadour Club  gig in November 2012!

Time to organise a presentation and hand over the real funds too. We’ll be on Facebook and Twitter about that. Before we sign off for February, a few more thank yous are due to the great artists who sang and played for the cause – give it to them, one more time:

Black River Wild, Mathew Neel, Leslie Mendelson, Dan Beaulaurier and Rogue State.

Not forgetting thanks to our wonderful venue, their brilliant team, our fantastic volunteers and everyone who came along on the night or otherwise contributed.

We’re working on some fresh gigs now and look forward to being back with details of those very soon.

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Mental Wealth

We made some great new friends working on the last music fundraiser.

St Pauls Lifestyle inc OVERGROUND SOUND is a free, independent and ethical multi media magazine. They’ve been described as influential, exciting and vital for musicians. They support striving artists. They’re passionate about music and love comedy. And what’s more they have a refreshingly rational view about mental health and creativity. See what they have to say on their blog:

St Pauls Lifestyle: “We’d like 2013 to be the year that Mental Wealth becomes the slogan for mental illness.”

Right up our street so, guess what? We’re meeting up with the St Pauls Lifestyle team to plan a fundraising gig together and what’s more, we’re heading South to do it. Watch this space for more news!

Creation of an Abstract Mural, Glass, by LaurMG, Creative Commons

Creation of an Abstract Mural, Glass, by LaurMG, Creative Commons