Daily Life Lightbox Installation: Mental Health In Public Art

 

Mental health is essential for a thriving society and with mental illness affecting a large portion of the world population, most specifically in urban areas. How can can artistic practices raise awareness and remove stigma associated with mental?  Discover ‘The Expert View’ - a public lightbox installation developed in 2014 by Daily Life Ltd,a London based organization led by female artist, Bobby Baker.

 

  

Author: Siphilele Magagula

Image: Courtesy of Daily Life Ltd

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

The Daily Life advocates that art can make a significant contribution towards improved mental health and wellbeing and seeks to support artist, performers, writers and musicians with personal experiences dealing with mental health issues by promoting their talents and insights, on a public stage. The organization’s current projects explore three urban neighbourhoods of East London.

 


Their approach is to connect with various creative groups within these communities with personal experiences with mental illness and collaborate on art pieces. These artworks are then presented alongside professional artists’ work as well as mental health research in an interactive website. This platform makes the artwork and research accessible to a wider audience, spreading awareness on mental health through the shared experience of these creative groups as well as the scientific research to further educate.

 

See a report of the installation below:

 

Video courtesy of Daily Life Ltd. 

  

 

Their approach is to connect with various creative groups within these communities with personal experiences with mental illness and collaborate on art pieces. These artworks are then presented alongside professional artists’ work as well as mental health research in an interactive website. This platform makes the artwork and research accessible to a wider audience, spreading awareness on mental health through the shared experience of these creative groups as well as the scientific research to further educate.

 

 

The Daily Life Showcases Its First Public Installation - ‘The Expert View’

 

The Expert View was Daily Life Ltd’s first public lightbox installation, held in Dalston Square, Hackney, London and ran from 24th October through to 16th December in 2014. In this showcase work by Daily Life Ltd founder Bobby Baker was featured, alongside that of participants with personal experience of mental distress, professionals working in mental health and related services, and those who identified with both.

 

The exhibition offered a personal reflection on mental health and expertise by a multidisciplinary group of people in East London – psychiatrists, psychologists, support workers, doctors, nurses and a wealth of individuals with personal experience of mental distress.

 

 

Image: Courtesy of Daily Life Ltd.

 

 

 

Unlike most illnesses or disabilities, mental health issues can be ‘invisible’ and therefore overlooked. The exhibition combines a new presentation of expertise in art and mental health. It poses the question of what level of expertise does personal experience provide? It also questions “Who is the expert?” A valid question worth exploring in the design field. Often cases designers design for a user and not with a user, however in this case, perhaps the best way for urban designers to arrive at a suitable solution for how to design cities for better mental health is by observing and designing via consultation with people with experience with mental health issues.

 

The public display shows the sense of difficulties that are part of the journey of going through mental health issues. It creates a space for acceptance to battle fear, confusion, embarrassment, ignorance, and prejudice. The art gives space to reflect in a more neutral way.

 

The art shows mental health issues as a human experience that affects people of all backgrounds and class divides.

 

 

Image: Courtesy of Daily Life Ltd.

 

 

This exhibition was followed by a Symposium - learn more about how it was received.

 

  

 

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