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Midlands artist explores Psychosis through creativity

A children’s illustrator and designer from Derbyshire is set to share both her creative and mental health journey thanks to funding from Arts Council. 

Artist Kate Smith has been awarded a Developing Your Creative Practice grant to allow her to explore her creativity and share her mental health journey to help raise awareness and inspire others.  

After being diagnosed with the mental health condition Acute and Transient Psychotic Disorder several years ago, Kate found art was a great way to express and process her emotions, thoughts and complex feelings. 

This grant will support Kate to use her art to show the experience of psychosis and the pathway it takes from the beginning right through to completion. Using mark making, graphics, colour and shape, Kate will convey her thoughts and experiences of mental health, cumulating with an exhibition of her work.

The project will also support Kate’s journey from being a commissioned illustrator to a self-motivated artist, with complete freedom of expression, sharing her work at galleries and public spaces such as hospitals in Derbyshire.

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “Creativity can have a powerful effect on improving lives and provide a vital space for self-expression, care and recovery.

“We’re proud to be able to support artists like Kate through our National Lottery funding and to see her sharing her own experiences of mental health while championing the important role creativity plays in supporting wellbeing.”

Kate Smith, artist, illustrator and designer, said: “As part of the project, I set myself the task of exploring my emotions and experiences of psychosis, both the dark and the light, the negative and the positive. Psychosis is a scary place; it is complex, dark and difficult to explain. It is also intensified with colour and sound and sometimes brightness.

“Whilst it isn’t easy or always comfortable to transport myself back to these gruelling times it is somehow cathartic to express these thoughts, feelings and experiences to share with you hopefully my experiences will interest, enlighten or help others.” 

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