2019 Artistic Concept: Mind Matter
Arts by the Sea 2019 asks: Is modern life conducive to a positive state of mind?
Despite the UK’s status as one of the richest and most secure countries in the World, and a steadily increasing level of awareness about the importance of mental health, 1 in 4 of people in the UK will be affected by depression, anxiety and other mental health problems at some point in their life. While life is arguably far easier than it was 50 years ago, mental illness is on the rise.
Excessive workloads and pressures in the workplace have also led to the claim that the UK is experiencing a stress “epidemic”. Despite this, talking about mental health issues is still heavily stigmatised, and in many societies around the world, they remain a taboo subject.
In the UK the extent of the problem and its social stigma is also evidenced, perhaps most shockingly, by the disproportionate number of male suicides and the rise in suicides among young people. Causes for this have been cited as everything from loneliness and lack of social connections, to family breakdown and financial problems.
An increasing body of research has, however, found that there are practical ways in which all of us can engage with the issue of mental health for the wellbeing of ourselves and others. There have been five key ways identified, which are: 1. Connect, 2. Be Active, 3. Take Notice, 4. Keep Learning, and 5. Give.
In 2019 Arts by the Sea aims to utilise these five key wellbeing points as anchors to help produce an event that highlights some of these stigmas and taboos around mental health, with a wide range of community projects and creative commissions that aim to leave a lasting legacy for Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, promoting wellbeing in all its forms.
Through the 2019 programming strand, Mind Matter, we aim to explore and challenge current attitudes towards mental health and spark conversations through artwork and installations inspired or influenced by mental health issues and experiences.