Monday 10 October 2022 is World Mental Health Day, a subject which is very personal to me. In 2017 at the age of 37 I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. I have also struggled with depression and anxiety all my life. I believe that making is a key part of my wellbeing, I’ve written about this before on my blog and in the Arts and Minds newsletter.
I’ve been sewing and making art since I was a little, my grandparents who brought me up were both makers. My granddad was a joiner and engineer who could make anything in his workshop. My grandma was a knitter and excellent baker. When I was growing up I was lucky to have access to lots of different materials so I could explore my creative side.
I’ve made lots of works about my lived experiences of mental health, most recently Broken Doll which was shown as part of the Untold exhibition by Prism Textiles in Spring of 2022. I want to share my story so that other people know they are not alone, something I struggled with as a child.
Sharing my passion for textiles has also helped me to understand how I can use my skills to help other people find a creative outlet. I’ve worked on lots of community and collaborative projects using textiles to share our stories and as a way to find a moment of calm. You can find out more about some of these projects in my portfolio.
Even if you have never embroidered before, I recommend picking up a needle and thread and having a go. There are some great resources on YouTube and Pinterest to inspire you and you can check out my past posts for some ideas on how to make your stitching a bit different. If fabric and thread aren’t for you, why not try creative writing or photography, painting or drawing.
If you would like to learn a new skill in one of my workshops you can sign up to my monthly newsletter for more details.