Who we are? We are a group of undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Edinburgh who are passionate about arts and mental health issues.
What we do? We are seeking funding to support a free expressive art exhibition called F.E.E.L.S. on 21st and 22nd March 2019 in the University of Edinburgh. The exhibition will display individuals’ artworks on emotional expressions. As the name suggests (F.E.E.L.S.-which stands for “Forget about Everything Else, Let’s Show!”), we want people to forget about the self-conditioning (e.g. I cannot draw. I am not good at arts) which we didn’t possess as a kid and be proud to showcase and celebrate their emotional expressions.
The exhibition aims to provide a space for people to express, showcase and even celebrate emotions through their artworks. It is a space to be seen, heard, understood and to reach out to others who also experience feelings and emotions day in day out. The project committee will gather and display the emotional expressive artworks from the public in any creative form, such as music, dance, poetry, play, painting, installations and stories.
By showcasing feelings using creative arts, we are also concretizing the abstract and invisible emotions so that people can visualize, touch and even hear each other’s emotions, thus creating a sense of empathy and establishing profound and meaningful connections with each other.
The event is expected to attract 600 visitors and the target audiences are the general public with a focus on the university students. The team consists of individuals who have rich experience and knowledge in mental health and art exhibition. The funding obtained will be directly invested in the event (e.g.purchase of equipments and materials required for the exhibition, event souvenir, printing of marketing material, project team t-shirts,art therapy workshops as sideline programmes) .
What inspires us to start the project: In society, feelings and emotions are often suppressed in unhealthy ways contributing to a number of mental-illnesses and disorders. Over the years, this has led to a significant increase in mental health problems. According to the Mental Health Statics for England in 2018, 1 in 6 people experienced a common mental disorder in the past week and the top 5 common mental disorders in UK are all emotional-based ones (i.e. Generalized anxiety disorder, depressive episode, phobias, OCD, Panic disorder).
Therefore, we hope to tackle these issues through a ground-up community approach- by gathering together as ordinary people in face of our humanity, vulnerability and imperfectness and share our experience of being humans together.
Lastly,we would like to thank everyone who have supported us in one way or another in advance.