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Mel Brimfield and Gwyneth Herbert - Touring Art Project

  • More Than Just A Choir Rethink Mental Illness Harrow United Kingdom (map)

Gwyn Herbert will coming to our rehearsal tonight to teach us the choir part for the touring Art project detailed below - an opportunity to be grasped and thoroughly enjoyed!

The recording will take place in two weeks time on 22nd October… at The Bridge


I’m an artist and lecturer at the Royal College of Art, and I’ve been conducting research for a year with neuroscientists and clinicians at the Department of Psychosis Studies and the National Psychosis Unit at Bethlem Hospital. I’ve been closely observing occupational therapy work, and have formed plans to make a massive collaborative artwork.

I’ve been looking into your terrific organization, and am wondering if you might be up for meeting to discuss a touring project I’m developing with composer Gwyneth Herbert, Kings College Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and the UK Men’s Sheds Association.  I’ve attached a full outline, but in brief:

We’ll be running music workshops in partnership with occupational therapy providers, independent arts organisations and support groups locally and nationally. We’ll be recording the parts of an ambitious  arrangement/composition around a recording of a patient reciting the middle 8 of  ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ for an installation – think Gavin Byars ‘Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet’ as a reference.  You can hear the recording here: - password: stand.  Each voice will be recorded individually, to be relayed on a separate channel through a single speaker. Each speaker will be mounted within a unique, collaboratively designed sculptural object to form a growing field of ‘musicians’ performing to the gallery in unison – I’m working with chapters of UK Men’s Sheds to design and build the components of this sound system. 

The project will launch at Kelham Island Industrial Museum in Sheffield, and form part of my large-scale solo exhibitions at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff and The Tetley in Leeds from March until October, with the Arts&Heritage organisation acting as producers and publicists for the tour. We're keen to focus attention on the work you do to join us in making a strong statement in support of occupational health services as a necessary part of recovery from mental illness and maintaining wellbeing more generally. I attach a detailed outline in case it's useful!