KMPT joins forces with the Turner Contemporary Gallery
Date: 10 August 2017
An ongoing art project between the trust, Turner Contemporary gallery and ‘Live Well Kent’ project, was recently nominated at the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards within the Older Adults category.
The project engages service users and the wider community in arts workshops exploring, “The Waste Land,” a poem written by T.S.Eliot.
Jemma Channing, Occupational Therapist, Woodchurch Ward, has been working on the research group for a forthcoming exhibition at the Turner entitled “A Journey with the Waste Land” – a visual arts response to the poem, which was partly written in Margate by T.S Eliot whilst recovering from a breakdown.
Trish Scott, Research Curator, Turner Contemporary, and Jemma secured funding from the Live Well Kent innovation fund.
Using the funding they commissioned an artist to work with service users in Margate and surrounding areas to run workshops exploring the poem and their own experiences.
Jemma ensured that the participants were supported to enable them to engage in the project, by working with the artist and the gallery to ensure that the project and workshops were accessible.
From these workshops participants will work with the artist to develop an art piece that will be in the first major exhibition of 2018 at the gallery.
Jemma said “As an Occupational Therapist I have really enjoyed this project as a key part of my role is promoting independence and engaging individuals in occupations and activities that are meaningful to them.
This project has enabled our service users to take part in activities they might not have done before, access community venues they might not have known about and built their confidence in trying new things and going to new places”.
Participants are able to continue to attend after they leave inpatient services, offering continuity and support to patients at different stages in their recovery. It gives participants from inpatient and community services an opportunity to get more involved with their community, to socialise and spend time with other people, making new friends.
Part of the funding will also be used to allow gallery staff to undertake mental health awareness training which incorporates the therapeutic benefits of engaging in the arts and how they can feed this into their work.
It’s hoped the project’s legacy will make Turner Contemporary a more accessible place for people with mental health issues and empower staff.