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Two draft A3 poster designs for the Scottish Mental Health Art Festival

I have recently been working on an A3 poster design for a Scottish Mental Health Art Festival exhibition to be shown in Summerhall, Edinburgh later this year.

Here are two draft versions that are loosely based on the theme of ‘new beginnings’, for ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’.

Now in its sixth year, Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind is a collaborative exhibition of over 100 artworks in various media. It is a mix of works by professional artists who have experienced mental health issues, and self-made artists working with community mental health projects. There are a range of motivations, from personal expression, development of artistic practice and the experience of the therapeutic benefits of working in a group or solo, to formal art therapy and political activism.

My preferred version has a totally empty sky with all the text below the horizon. I think this emphasises the vastness of the cosmos, of ‘new beginnings’ and in an ironic way, puts all the exhibition information ‘out of sight and out of mind’ below the horizon. I also like the logo as a reflection of the moon! The text layout needs more focus once the overall image has been agreed.

All Too Human - Tate Gallery, London

I took this photograph a few months ago at Tate Britain in the All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life exhibition. I work in a gallery and see this all the time; people glued to their mobile/cell phones. I don’t mean the casual look to check the time or a new text message but prolonged scrolling and viewing. It saddens me, especially in an art gallery where you should be observing great works in a meditative atmosphere.

Apparently, using smart phones diminishes thinking and focus so maybe we should be worried?

Frank Auerbach - To The Studio (docmentary still)

I watched an amazing documentary last night – Frank Auerbach - To The Studio - gave me goose bumps!

It opens a rare window into his secret, obsessive but brilliant world. Fascinating and compelling, Auerbach’s work is fiercely original, disquieting and yet beautiful.

I saw Head of Gerda Boehm at Bowie the Collector, Sotheby’s, London in November 2016. Bowie said of this painting he owned:

“My God, yeah! I want to sound like that looks; it will give spiritual weight to my angst. Some mornings I’ll look at it and go, ‘Oh, God, yeah! I know!’ But that same painting, on a different day, can produce in me an incredible feeling of the triumph of trying to express myself as an artist.”

Oh to have an Auerbach to wake up to. I’ll content myself with the postcards I got from Tate Britain!

Auerbach once said: “What I’m trying to make is a stonking, independent, coherent image that has never been seen before … that stalks into the world like a new monster”.

I love scary monsters . . .