Mental Health Support
02 Feb 2024

A collection of artworks created by people with severe and enduring mental health problems was exhibited during January at a gallery in Worthing – with a private view last week to celebrate this joint project between CAPITAL Project Trust and Recovery Partners. 

Last week, CAPITAL Project Trust welcomed over 50 people to Colonnade House for a private view of an exhibition, called A Different View, the culmination of a collaborative arts and mental health project with Recovery Partners

CAPITAL Project Trust and Recovery Partners ran two free photography, video and zine-making courses for people with serious mental illnesses last year – one in Littlehampton in June and one in Crawley in October – with around 14 people with severe and enduring mental health problems taking part. The courses explored the transformative power of photography and zine-making as tools for self-expression, personal empowerment and the creation of a supportive community of peers. They were led by Lucy Groenewoud, an inclusive arts facilitator.

Photo of attendees at an art exhibition at Colonnade House in Worthing

Over 50 people attended the private view last week, showcasing the work of the artists involved in A Different View

The exhibition featured work from 11 of the participants and ran for one week at the Colonnade House gallery in Worthing. At the private view, which was attended by CAPITAL and Recovery Partners staff, NHS commissioners, Pathfinder partners and members of the public, many of the artists shared the meanings behind their artworks, as well as the transformative power of creating them and taking part in the courses. 

Janice Moth, who attended the private view and works as engagement manager at CAPITAL, shared the story of one of the artists, who had created an Andy Warhol-style artwork using a traced image of a hat he had worn for 20 years. He used the opportunity of creating his artwork to shed and say goodbye to this hat – which in his local community he was well known for wearing and had become linked to his perceived identity – and to move forward in his recovery journey. 

For some of the participants, getting out of the house, joining a creative activity and meeting new people was a huge step on their recovery journey – something many of them would be building on in the future, observed Duncan Marshall, CEO of CAPITAL Project Trust. The courses also featured peer support, provided by CAPITAL, the lead partner for the project, with half of the participants taking up the opportunity to get one-to-one peer support with CAPITAL staff as part of the courses. 

CAPITAL's CEO Duncan said: “We are immensely proud of our partnership with Recovery Partners, a fellow peer-led mental health organisation in East Sussex, to offer this opportunity for people with severe and enduring mental illnesses. It was incredibly rewarding to see the amazing output from these courses displayed in a local gallery and to see the pride and joy that this brought to participants and visitors.” 

Duncan says that CAPITAL hopes to be able to take the exhibition on tour to other galleries, libraries and different community groups to open up conversations about mental health and to work collaboratively with Recovery Partners again on creative projects in the future. 

If you are struggling with your mental health, find local sources of support through this website.