Nottingham’s Surface Gallery set to open art exhibition to investigating mental health

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Nottingham’s Surface Gallery on Southwell Street is set to launch a new exhibition that aims to open conversations around mental health.

Unquiet Minds is a collaborative exhibition of painting and photography which aims to open conversations about mental health and challenge preconceptions about this often uneasy subject.

Unquiet Minds sees three Midlands-based degree students investigate their emotional response to their own and other people’s mental health stories - each has a very different approach, yet the fundamental message is about reframing how we look at mental health experiences.

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The students are Catherine Levey, Catherine D’Arcy-Saunders and Allan O’Neill and the exhibition takes place on 13 – 20 May, with opening night Friday, May 12, 6-8 pm.

Levey’s interest in people is reflected in her fragile layered figure painting, often disorientating and ambiguous. She asks what happens when we open ourselves up to look at people’s stories in different ways.

D’Arcy-Saunders’ expressive abstracts investigate her curiosity towards the complex interface between thoughts and feelings. She translates anxiety and worries into a recurrent set of motifs.

O’Neill has researched his own diagnostic journey with his bold photographic self-portraits. He offers up his lived experience of ADHD and questions our visual language.

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These artists offer no answers to a society faced with a post-pandemic spike in the demand for mental health services but instead, they offer vivid imagery to put the theme on the agenda, challenge stigma and stimulate positive discussions.

Artist Talk will take place on Saturday, 20 May, at noon where the artists will discuss their practice and the meaning behind their work during a walkthrough of the exhibition followed by an informal discussion about topics raised.

Unquiet Minds will open in the Main Gallery and there will be a donations bar with ales from local brewery Pheasantry. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.