A stand with smaller models in a big, modern, space. Listen up project information is behind the stand.

Artwork at The Hearing Voices World Congress in Boston USA.

Last week, completely out of the blue, I found out that mine and the other Listen Up! participants’ artworks had travelled all the way to the Hearing Voices World Congress in Boston USA! The work was exhibited there to an audience of delegates from all over the world.

It is exactly a year since I created the mirror pieces that are very personal to me. It feels so strange that the work that means so much to me and my past has been to a country I only ever see on television. Pride doesn’t do the feeling justice, it’s more a sense of complete awe that it has made it all the way over there.

I received lots of lovely tweets and messages from delegates viewing my work which really put a smile on my face. Again thank you to the Hearing Voices DU team and @literarti who went out with the pieces.

SEE MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT HERE

More blogs from the project can be found here.

A stand with smaller models in a big, modern, space. Listen up project information is behind the stand. The work on easles in silhouette in front of a floor to ceiling window. There s a woman looking at the pieces also in silhouette.

Two of my pieces, the smashed mirrors, in a row of works on golden easels.

Christmas and New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my lovely followers! It has been a hectic but mostly happy year for me. Here are some drawings inspired by the season that I’ve been working on. Next year my hope is to share on this blog more often. Please note that this site is now ‘imogen-creates.com‘. I changed it because over the last year I have branched out into other art forms hence why my old site name didn’t really fit anymore.

Anywho, I hope 2017 brings you good things.

Imogen xxx

A mouse wearing a piny is perched on a chair trying to put a star on top of the Christmas treeMice sit around tables at a Christmas cafe. There is a mouse waiter holding a tray. There is snow outside. babies at highchairs.A mouse family. Mum and dad looking proudly as small, chubby, child mouse holds a traditional christingle.A mouse nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, wise men and a Shepard.

Proud: Seeing The Hearing Voices Exhibition for the first time.

Last week I was over the moon to see the ‘Hearing Voices: Suffering, Inspiration and the Everyday’ exhibition for myself. I have blogged before about how myself and a group of other young voice hearers created art to be displayed for the groundbreaking exhibition. In absolute honesty I was expecting hushed rooms and many glass cases; maybe with undertones of pity for us voice hearers. I was pleasantly surprised to find colour and sound and passion. The displays actually make voices appear to the public as just a part of life that some of us experience. Far from the freak show or pity parade I feared. In the exhibition is tons of information- even areas where you can stand on a carpet to hear a simulation of having voices in your head. My wonderful Learning Support Practitioner, K, managed to see the exhibition while in Durham on holiday. She said: “it makes hearing voices seem like just a part of being human”. This message is exactly what myself and the other young people had hoped to get across in our work. So what was the best bit? For me it must have been seeing the work of young people who struggle so greatly at times alongside original manuscripts of greats like Virginia Woolf and Julian of Norwich who experienced similar. I felt pride to have my work next to creatives like Wolf and Beckett. I have overwhelming pride for the project and all it encompasses for people who hear voices. Maybe, just maybe, alongside the horrific pain voices can cause, there is a vibrance, passion and creative flare that we can share with the world or simply use to get by.

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Want to see it for yourself? The exhibition is open until the 26th of February 2017. You can find out more here.

This post was originally shared on the Upside Down Chronicles.

“Young People Hearing Voices; Suffering, Inspiration and the Everyday.” – Weekend in Durham

After meeting twice to create artwork in Leeds it was time to meet the project participants from other parts of the north. We gathered in Durham to finish our pieces ready for exhibition. We met in Palace Green Library near Durham Cathedral, which is where our work will be exhibited in November. As with previous workshops the space that the facilitators created felt very safe and relaxed. We had all the art supplies you could dream of, and were also able to discuss how we wished our work to be displayed in the exhibition. Quickly a lot of us became close, and we all felt the palpable sense of having shared experiences with one another. The two days flew by.

Sculptures, posters, paintings, figurines and mixed media images were made as seen below. Now we just wait for November and the exhibition opening!


Thank you so much to the Wellcome Trust and Hearing the Voice for giving time and space to simply be.

The finished pieces and more will be on exhibition from the 5th of November at Palace Green Library, Durham University.

Grimm and Gruffalo Workshop Trio

This summer I worked with children at a local CIC Charity to run three workshops based on ‘The Gruffalo’ and Grimms’ fairytales. All the young people had some form of learning disability and we had great fun working together. In our retelling of Julia Donaldson’s ‘Gruffalo’ we walked like scary Gruffalos and tiny little mice. We made footsteps and we roared.

In Rumplestiltskin we travelled the world making up silly names and danced just like Rumplestiltskin. In Jack and the Beanstalk we climbed up high and ran from giants. 

All this with a bit of percussion, some props and a bit of makkaton!

If you have a group and would like to book for me to run some workshops, click the link at the top and drop me an email. 

Hearing Voices, Making Art.

Yesterday I went to Artlink Leeds to work with Hearing the Voice to make some artwork for their exhibition. It was really nice to see everyone again and to have the materials to create the ideas I had jotted into my sketchbook during the last session.

I had decided to make some pieces using mirrors, which Mary kindly sourced along with hammers, a hot glue gun and some funky green and pink canvases. First I smashed the mirror. I was provided with eye goggles (Mary not wanting to deal with the paperwork of blinding a blind girl even more) and set to work smashing. It felt very therapeutic.

“Hey Mary? Isn’t this what they call REFLECTIVE PRACTISE?!” Get it? Because it’s a mirror? Ba-bum!

 

Once I had broken them in a way that was aesthetically pleasing, and had come to terms with my 14 years of bad luck to come, it was then a case of merrily sticking the pieces down. They weren’t too sharp as most of the main mirror was plastic, but I wore gloves anyway,

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The really good thing about being in this project is that you also have the opportunity to talk with people who know what having voices is like. Many conversations started with: “Is it just me or…” and lots of giggles were had. One of the facilitators, Rai, has her own voices was really useful to talk to because she has been in the same situation and got through the other side.

The text to go on the canvases didn’t take too long. Inside one of the cracks on the green canvas I wrote my favourite Groucho Marx quote: “Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light”. The other canvas I wrote in chalk pen across the glass: “The pieces stay together because they have to. They don’t work together quite the same though. We are all still me. We just got splintered into other things too”. I honestly don’t know where it came from but it sums up my situation quite well.

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I was really pleased with the finished pieces but was sad to say goodbye to everyone again. I really hope we meet up again soon, but this time it will be when our work is ready to be shown to the world!

It Took a While to Cajon!

I’m very pleased to announce that I now have a cajon drum to use for storytelling. If you have not come across a cajon before you are in for a treat- it is a sturdy wooden box which makes different sounds when hit. They are fantastic for working with children and disability groups as they are very strong with no delicate or moving parts. The cajon has been very popular during sessions and it is very useful for creating the sound of approaching giants and dragons!

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