We wanted to put together a small “virtual exhibition” on our AGM website, featuring creative pieces by folk in our network, including photography, drawings, and poetry. We know lots of people have used creativity as a way to cope with the challenges this year has brought.
If you have something you’d like to share, please send it (along with the name you’d like displaying and any links to your website/Instagram) to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also watch some of the creative images in the exhibition here on this video:
Self Management/Self Care and Peer Support by Jackie Hardy
Mismanagement, misdiagnosis, missing link, missing out
I kept shouting out “who am I? Why here?” for others, but not for me.
“Why do I feel this way?”
My mind I was not managing, as didn’t know self – “what was I to do?”
I just thought best to die, as I was living a lie
It didn’t work so I woke up alive, my mind still alert, but still didn’t know me
I had therapy, went on to to discover me and my road to recovery, or as I call it discovery
Now know my likes, dislikes, so others controlling me you can go take a hike
I know my triggers, if I get the gitters, so then out comes my toolkit of strategies
No more battles I can’t overcome, now I know me, whom I wanted to become
Have my peers so no more geers, as we work together, solidarity forever – peer support forever for me
No more mismanagement, as now it’s all about self management/self care
Meditation, mindfulness, living in the now and enjoying the journey
Hugging, loving, nature loving and having a laugh
It will last, as no more living in the past
Be present, be happy – at least for the most part Now have become ‘me’ I always wanted to be, loving this self management and now it will last
Arun Paul Kapur – short films, poetry and photography
On we go
On, on we go superhero
Left stood in the sand, quickly we were left to sink.
Intrusion and confusion are thoughts in flow to encase our think.
Guide of lines nonlinear underneath the surface. Everything thrown into rapid cursive.
Those days of future and are now of past, blinked quickly in the eye ever so fast.
We put on our capes and charge ourselves to go.
On, on we go superhero
Slow and steady wins the race.
Forward is forward at any pace.
Mine and body ready to fuse.
Thank you my joy, thank you my muse
None closer apart to an angel is she.
A lioness that roars kindness but power.
None stronger even in this tough hour.
Courage in her veins and beauty in thought.
Many a battle she conquered and fought.
None like her, none so pure.
We are grateful, forever now forever more. ♥
They lead the front so we stay home.
They battle the all as we hide from the drone.
We praise our heros, as they are the key
They face this poisoned world, protect us and keep us free
Let us clap, let us support unlimited praise
Stay strong now and see out these testing days
See also: Arun’s Youtube channel.
Short spoken pieces from 361 Recovery Project
Misery Squid – musician
“I have a schizoaffective bipolar diagnosis and this song ‘I’ll Try’ is about how tiring all the things that go into managing long term mental illness can be. There are the times when I feel ‘I don’t want to be here’ but also there are other, more regular times, when I think ‘I don’t know if I have the energy to go through another winter, another episode, I don’t know if I want to keep turning up to the appointments and dealing with the side effects of the medication and the impact on relationships’. It’s about not being able to promise people who care about you that you’ll stay alive, but instead saying, ‘I’ll Try’. It’s also about hope and about how sometimes the hope of people around you can be what keeps you going. I wrote this song for my Mum. It’s from a four track EP called ‘I’m Okay, You’re Okay’. People can listen to it online for free or they can make a donation. Any money raised from the sale of the E.P goes to the charity Self Injury Support UK (Formerly Bristol Crisis Service for Women) supporting women and girls who use self-injury.”
Greta Gillett – poetry and artwork
“The 1st is my hand showing manicure and tattoo on nature but signifying recovery from sexual abuse.
The 2nd is a photo of me working on a hand-sewn book of my story.
The 3rd is a handsewn poem letter to my children who were taken from me but I couldn’t send it.”
Some days I am looking over my shoulder
And some days I am looking ahead.
And some days I look down at my toes and notice the colours I have painted them
The fear and the panic often lies close to me
And then the other memories come
And soothe me like an embrace
And again I see my body
I am here
And I bore babies
And I am here
Martin Vallis – photography
Martin is a photographer, NSUN member and Lived Experience Practitioner. Website: martinvallis.com
Philip Coldicott – short video
Phil made the above short video for a local well-being centre in Stratford on Avon, Escape Arts.
Dawn Willis – mixed media artist
“During lockdown I began drawing and painting again and have found it immensely helpful for my mental wealth. The focus means I have time out of my head and it’s proved vital during these strange and unusual times we’ve all found ourselves part of.”
Susan Smith – paintings
“I’ve been painting on fabric with natural botanical inks and dyes from plants grown in the garden or veg from the kitchen. I’m not an artist but I have found this deeply relaxing during Covid.”
Dave Sohanpal – paintings
Tony Demoncy – poetry
“I am Just as Human“
Look at me,
Look at you.
You are Human.
I am too.
We may be different,
We may have different needs.
I deserve as much respect
Though we move or think at different speeds
Though I am disabled,
Though you are not,
I am just as Human
You may have forgot
About how to treat me
As equal, deserving
Of rights and respect
Of love and of caring,
I am not less,
You are not more –
We are both human
With gifts and flaws
I am just another person
I have needs and rights and dreams
I am truly fully human
With all that is and all that means.
So treat me not with less respect
Treat me not with hate or contempt
I deserve as much from life as you
We may be different but I’m human too.
If I could I would but sometimes I can’t,
So I find myself on the level of plants
As I sit or I stand with my leaves unfurled,
Puzzled and quiet and inward curled
With no buds to my branches
And thorns wrong way round
With the spikes in my brain
And scant peace to be found
As the thorns drip their moisture
I gaze at the drops
As they sparkle on grass-stems
Where the grasshopper hops
Through the dew and the sparkle,
Through thought and through life
And where the sun shimmers
I find peace and not strife.
Tony Fisher – photographer
Tony’s lockdown series “Only The Lonely” has been featured in news articles such as this one. You can see more via Mad Covid Diaries.
The ficking cants in charge by Mr Apoet, Imnot
The ficking cants are bustards who eat different kinds of mustards
Don’t know why as I prefer tomato sauce
Anyway, they have plenty of skill but only in exquisite ways to torture and kill
These ficking cants need to be sorted out + the only way is Standards to address their poor (I mean really really bad) management practices. I suggest ISO standards. Look it up)
Eleni Chambers – photography (and gardening!)
“I’m lucky enough to have a garden, which has kept me sane over the last few months. There’s also new shelving and hangers for indoors, and I’ve swapped lots of plants and cuttings – a great way to get new plants.
Mrs Bluetit – lovely to watch them nesting
Picture 1: poppies, picture 2: little things growing, picture 3: cornflowers.
Michelle Baharier – multidisciplinary artist
For more live poetry and performance art, visit Michelle’s Youtube channel.
Featured: MadCovid alternative gift suppliers list by Robyn Timoclea
“So many people with mental health difficulties have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic; this is especially true for mad arts and crafts folk. Many crafters are self-employed or run small businesses to top up what little income they receive from the government. I’ve decided that I’m going to buy ALL of my Christmas presents for people through these sellers this year.
I thought this was one of my better ideas (many terrible ideas also exist if you’re interested), so I teamed up with MadCovid to share all of the great sellers I’ve found so far. If you only have the energy to do one good thing this year, please, please support these fantastic mad arts and crafters”