Semple Minds

From Picasso to Dylan Thomas to Lord Byron, suggestions of the links between creativity and mental illness have long been mooted.

Putting a positive spin on these associations is the forthcoming show Mindful, curated by artist Stuart Semple, which aims to raise awareness (and, of course, cash) for mental health charity Mind.

Stuart Semple
Stuart Semple

The show aims to explore the links between art and mental health, in turn raising funds for a new creative therapies scheme for people experiences mental distress. Ingeniously, the auction accompanying the show will be held in the former Bedlam, the Imperial War Museum.

Old Vic Tunnels
Old Vic Tunnels

Semple set up the Mind creative therapies fund this year, which aims to enable those experiencing mental illness to harness their creativity to aid recovery and better express themselves.

Liliane Lijn, Sweet Dreams
Liliane Lijn, Sweet Dreams

Semple says, ‘The whole point of instigating this fund is to enable others access to the therapeutic potential of creative expression, people who may not have the chance, encouragement, or resources to do so otherwise.’

Annie Kevans' Princess Diana

This show will see many luminaries and darlings of the art world come together for the  cause, including Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Tessa Farmer, Whitney McVeigh, Annie Kevans and Seana Gavin.

Stuart Semple - Feeling
Stuart Semple – Feeling

The art will not only help raise money for Mind through the auction and events taking place throughout its week-long duration, but many of the works inherently explorethe links between mental illness and creativity.

Whitney McVeigh, Identity IV
Whitney McVeigh, Identity IV

Alongside the exhibition, the week-long show will also feature a number of events, including live music from My Tiger My Timing and a screening of Ken Paul Rosenthal’s Crooked Beauty film, a documentary exploring creativity and madness.

Mindful runs from 22 – 27 September at Old Vic Tunnels, Station Approach, London SE1 8SW

For more information visit

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