Creativity and mental health take centre stage
Posted on 5 May 2023
As part of the Brighton city-wide Festival in May, our Wellbeing Hub at Preston Park is opening its doors to the local community to highlight how the arts can have powerful and lasting effects on health.
Visitors to the Wellbeing Hub’s Artists Open House (which is open every weekend in May from 12 to 4pm at 18 Preston Park Avenue) will be able to see a wide range of over 100 pieces of art created by 54 artists; some of whom are seasoned exhibitors and for some it will be the first time they have shown their work.
Special performances and sessions are being held on each of the Saturdays including ‘art to music’ accompanied by a jazz band and a freestyle doodling and drawing session. And, a selection of homemade cakes will be available with money raised donated to Martlets Hospice.
Robin Cocker, Team Manager at the Wellbeing Hub at Preston Park which is provided by Southdown as part of the UOK Brighton and Hove mental health network, says: “This will be the 6th year we’ve hosted an Artists Open House and we’re super excited to share the fantastic artwork created. What’s really special about this exhibition is that all of the artwork is created by local people in support of their mental wellbeing. The arts’ valuable role in mental health is widely recognised. It can help to boost confidence and make us feel more engaged and resilient. It can also alleviate anxiety, depression and stress.
“This year, we’re proud to have participating artists from not only the Wellbeing Hub at Preston Park but also from other local UOK Brighton and Hove mental health providers’ Men in Sheds at Fabrica and the Trust for Developing Communities (TDC).”
Robin added, “This is the first year we’ve been able to host our Artists Open House since the pandemic so it’s great to be back. The past few years have been tough; at the Hub we have seen the effects the pandemic has had on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Events like this are a great way to come back together. We also hope that our Artists Open House will help to break down barriers to talking about mental health and accessing support.”
Gillian, a participating artist in the Wellbeing Hub at Preston Park’s Artists Open House, says: “It means the world to me to know that other people will be able to see my art and enjoy it. Taking part in the Artists Open House has given me confidence in my painting and a sense of pride. When I am painting it’s a time when I don’t think about anything other than what I am doing. Art brings me peace and enjoyment, it allows me to block out all of the chaos and to relax.”
The Wellbeing Hub at Preston Park’s Artists Open House (at 18 Preston Park Avenue, Brighton) is open every weekend during May from 12-4pm as part of the ‘Beyond the Level’ trail.