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!

The Times they are A-changin…

We’re getting calls and texts about the Time To Change ads, asking if we’ve seen them and what we think. Well we think they’re brilliant and they’re definitely getting people talking, which is what it’s all about. Thanks to charities like Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, who are heading up the Time to Change campaign and have been working in the mental health field for decades here in the UK, change really does seem to be afoot… Let’s keep it going!

If you aren’t in the UK or haven’t managed to catch any of the TV adverts yet, take a look and read about the stories behind them here:

Time To Change

We’ve borrowed Bob Dylan’s line so here’s a little picture of the great man together with Joan Baez, another amazing talent. With thanks to Wikimedia Creative Commons images – if you know who the photographer was/is, let us know!

Joan Baez Bob Dylan Creative Commons

 

 

 

The Fine Line Project November 2012 Music Benefit for Rethink Mental Illness

Time to announce a few gig details! For those of you who’ve been watching this page, our second music benefit, hosted once again by the legendary (it really is!) Troubadour Club in London, is in aid of Rethink Mental Illness and in support of the ground-breaking Time to Change campaign (run with Mind), which is England’s most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

We’re really excited to have the evening open with Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Leslie Mendelson from New York. Leslie was spotted by Joel Dorn, the legendary Grammy Award winning producer and record label exec, who helped her sign her first record deal. The young singer then worked alongside hit songwriter Steve McEwan (Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Eminem) and award winning producer/arranger Rob Mounsey (Paul Simon, Mary J. Blige, Steely Dan) to shape the sound of her album, Swan Feathers, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009. Leslie has since played all over the US, sharing the stage with legends such as Roberta Flack, Dr. John and Levon Helm from The Band. The songs Turn It Over and Be My Baby from Swan Feathers were featured in the AMC show Rubicon and the Lifetime original movie Too Late To Say Goodbye starring Rob Lowe.  All Come Together was featured in the 2011 Yahoo End Of Year campaign. Leslie is working on a new album scheduled for release in early 2013.

You can check out her sounds here: Leslie Mendelson live.

Next on stage will be the hugely talented Matthew Neel and his brilliant band. Their New Maps of Hell album has been described as “Unique and totally mesmerising, this is an album which proves difficult to turn off”. Read the full run down of accolades on Matthew’s website. In his own words: “I left school at 18 and came straight to London with the express intention of joining a band. Via the back pages of Melody Maker, I found one. We were not good. After a year or so I stole the guitarist and went off to form a new band, then spent a couple of years firing everyone and finding sparkly, talented new people to put in their places. We lasted a few years but eventually became allergic to each-other, dying of toxic shock in a rehearsal room in Putney. Since then, thanks to snapping my wrist and not being able to strum for 8 months I taught myself to fingerpick, and from there came new songs and an album. I’ve always been a sucker for dark folkiness and recently this is the way the songs seem to go. The lovely Luke Brighty plays guitar, Ricky Barber is managing bass duties, Jimmy Shoo is tub-thumping.”

Check out Matthew’s site and sounds here: http://www.matthewneel.com/

Living up to our name, The Fine Line Project’s headline act is due to be announced shortly.

Last but by no means least, the evening will be rounded off by regular Fine Line Project supporter, ace DJ and record producer Liam Rogue State Wild aka UK Rogue State, who will spin his grooves into the early hours. Liam, who hails from Sheffield, has DJ’d all over the UK and Europe and enjoys a massive following wherever and whenever he shares his unique blend of sounds. We’re so happy to have him on board for a second round of great music.

Hear some of Liam’s sounds: http://soundcloud.com/ukroguestate

Here’s how the flyer is shaping up so far…with big thanks to Patrick for the graphics!

Tickets will go on sale once we’ve annouced our headline act. You can join the mailing list to get advance notice of ticket sales by emailing thefinelineproject*(@)*gmail.com. We’ll also post up details on our Facebook events page along with links to our guest artists’ pages.

Link through to Rethink and the Time to Change campaign websites to find out more about them, or check on our Charities and Support page.

Momentous Day for Mental Health Campaigners

Time To Change indeed: in the UK today, MPs voted in favour of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill, which will now go through to the Committee stage. If eventually passed, it will put an end to archaic laws which interfere with the rights of people with mental health problems from participating in jury service and becoming or remaining a company director. It will also change a law that currently stipulates that MPs themselves will lose their seats if sectioned under the Mental Health Act, regardless of recovery.

Read more on the Time To Change campaign website:

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/news/mps-vote-scrap-outdated-discriminatory-laws

To keep up to date with proceedings now that the Bill has gone to Committee stage use this link:

http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/flash-passage-bill/

Here’s to the next step!