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Castle Arts

St Martin-in-the-Fields,

London 27 September – 2 October

This exhibition was the culmination of arts projects for women
who have experienced mental health problems, and who worked with
local artists to produce a series of works including collages,
photographs and clay figures, writes Mark Drinkwater.

It was held in the 18th century crypt at St Martin’s – a grand
setting with its high ceilings, redbrick walls and sandstone
pillars. However, as a busy venue there were times exhibition
visitors were jockeying for space with families who had spilled out
of other attractions.

Participants either had no or little experience of using collages,
photographs and clay, so it was particularly impressive to see
striking works such as Sui Han Ngan’s Pythonesque collage, and a
photograph of brightly coloured bicycles by Pam Debrick.

Given that the exhibition was called “This is me”, the more curious
visitors might like to have seen more biographical details about
the artists. There was a photographic documentary of the projects,
but only a few of the artists gave information about themselves or
the processes involved in creating the work. But even so the
exhibition was inspirational and often thought-provoking. The art
was left to speak for itself.

The project was described as having given the women involved a
space to reflect and create. In return, the exhibition gave
visitors a place to reflect and enjoy.Mark Drinkwater is a
community worker in Southwark.

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