‘Normal?’ Conversations

Join two conversations with artists about subjects related to mental health and 'Normality?', hosted hosted by SMHAF's Andrew Eaton-Lewis.

‘Normal?’ Conversations

About ‘Normal?’ Conversations

What is the climate crisis doing to our mental health? With Katy Dye, Fadzai Mwakutuya and Gary Belkin.
SMHAF’s Andrew Eaton-Lewis brings together three fascinating people with different insights into the mental health impact of climate change.

Kate Dye is a performance artist whose latest project, Climate Grief Karaoke, invites people to sing songs expressing their emotions towards environmental breakdown. The project will be showcased later this year at the SPILL festival and COP26, and was inspired by the phenomenon of ‘ecological grief’, a psychological response to loss caused by climate change.

Fadzia Mwakutuya is a visual artist and founder of Climate Change Creative, a project to facilitate the sharing of artwork that raises climate change awareness, with a focus on disadvantaged or marginalised communities.

Dr Gary Belkin is founder of the Billion Minds Institute, which highlights the “social climate” crisis of climate change. Previously, he was Executive Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he led the Division of Mental Hygiene.

What is a ‘normal’ way to be an artist? With Amble Skuse and Skye Loneragan
What is a ‘normal’ way to be a working artist? Whose creative voices are excluded by factors like tight deadlines, long hours, inaccessible spaces, and a reliance on face-to-face networking as well as a lack of money? And what should a year of lockdown teach us about how to support and nurture creativity better?

Amble Skuse is a composer and violinist living with chronic fatigue syndrome. She was one of five artists commissioned by SMHAF in 2020 to make a piece of work on the theme ‘My Experience of Isolation’.

Skye Loneragan is an award-winning writer/performer whose work spans theatre, poetry and live art. In 2020 she was commissioned by SMHAF to create Though This Be (Online) Madness, a film adaptation of her solo theatre show about family, motherhood and mental illness, while looking after her young daughter during lockdown.

In the second of two 'Normal? Conversations' events, SMHAF’s Andrew Eaton-Lewis asks Amble and Skye about their experiences of making work in lockdown, balancing creativity and mental health, and what arts funders and programmers could be doing better.

If you have experiences relating to this subject that you’d like to share, we’d love you to join the conversation too.

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