Friday, August 20, 2010

The Art of Mental Health

Just a quick post on a couple of art-and-mental-health items I've noticed lately. One is London, Ontario artist Kirtley Jarvis' textile reproductions of panhandler's signs. I haven't seen them in person (they're on display at the MSVU Art Gallery in Halifax as part of a three-artist show on mental states) but the photos of them look really intriguing to me. Part of me wonders about the potentially thorny ethics of this practice--Jarvis does buy the signs from panhandlers before reproducing them as artworks--but in any case they have been sticking in my mind of late as a way of representing the difficulties, illnesses and precarities that many Canadians struggle with. For more information on the show (and an install shot) check out this Coast item by Sean Flinn.

Another event that's come to my attention (more in the performative arts) is Stand Up for Mental Health, a national endeavour that's been holding Toronto workshops of late through Workman Arts, an arts-and-health nonprofit. Though I can't find it online, the Toronto Star has a nice article on the project in today's paper, and notes that a related performance is due to happen tonight at CAMH. More info is available at CAMH's page on Facebook.

Image of Kirtley Jarvis' Menu (Inside View) 2008 from

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