Whilst painting has never been something i necessarily do to express my emotions (unlike a lame tampon commercial i’m not going to have a ‘blue period’ any time soon), it has always been part of my self-care and identity. My first exhibit is meaningful not just because it’s pretty cool for people to tell you your stuff is awesome but because when i get a bit lost and worried about work and my health it’s a very good reminder i should ground myself in the other parts of my identity. I’ve found it easy to lose sight of things since work began to dominate 80% of my time 8 months ago and this exhibit is an excellent poke in the ribs that i’m not just my job and i can still have fun and be creative.
Of all the places to get my first proper exhibition the Edge Cafe on Mill Road couldn’t be more perfect, it’s focus around supporting recovery in the community, forming connections, support networks and providing a safe and calm space is something very special. If any of you have read my blog for a while you know the last thing i can stand is a dim, ever so slightly grotty building aimed at supporting those with mental health challenges whilst simultaneously being the most depressing building you’ve ever been in. It’s therefore a revelation to have a space created that is light and airy and filled as much with the builders from next door having a bacon sarnie as it is people engaging with workshops and support provided. Places like the Edge Cafe are exactly what we need to create if we are to engage the local community in spaces aimed at breaking stigma and supporting those with mental health challenges.
For anyone interested in attending workshops, events (i’m heading on down to the open mic night on the 7th which so far has proved to be great fun!) or simply reading more about their mission you can check them out here:
For anyone who would like to pander to my shameless plug you can check out my work at http://www.hannahtouhey.com or follow me on Facebook here.