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Region participates in Mental Health Arts Festival

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By Fiona Reid
Region participates in Mental Health Arts Festival

TWO events are taking place in Dumfries and Galloway this month as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

The ‘Keep Turning the Page’ free exhibition of art works is in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary’s atrium until October 22.

And there will be a special screening of ‘Up the Middle Road: Stories of Resilience and Recovery’, after which audience members can enjoy a Q&A with a special guest panel, at the Robert Burns Film Theatre on Friday October 20.

OutPost Art’s Creative Wellbeing Network will also be launching its ‘Manifesto for Creative Wellbeing’ – the start of a year of creative and collaborative consultations where the organisation will engage with stakeholders to build a regional ‘agenda for change’ – exploring the creative and culture sector’s potential to positively influence people’s health and wellbeing, and confronting barriers and inequalities.

Explaining more about the art journal project, Lucy MacLeod, from OutPost Arts said: “45 young people and adults aged from 11 upwards, and from right across D&G, received a curated box of art materials. Over a period of 16 weeks participants worked with a range of artists and makers via in-person and remote workshops and creative research trips – exploring a wide range of visual arts practises and processes including printmaking, clay, animation, illustration, mark-making, colour theory, zine-making and creative writing. The project’s activities are designed to enhance wellbeing via creative expression, mindful practise, positive distraction, and the development of self-management tools.

“The ‘Keep Turning the Page’ exhibition sees these art journallers showcase their work and share their personal journeys with a wide audience, amplifying their voices and underlining the important relationship between creativity and mental health.”

Meanwhile, the screening session will be hosted by Dr Valentina Bold. It documents events held at the former Crichton Royal Asylum in 2022 and shares the recorded experiences of former patients and staff of the Crichton Royal, through new songs and stories from Emily Smith, Jamie McClennan, Amanda Edmiston and Kathleen Cronie.

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