Until October 12th we’ll be hosting photographer and Free Space Project Artistic Director Daniel Regan‘s project I Want to Live, an exhibition and series of workshops around suicide and mental health. The project is made in collaboration with local suicide respite centre Maytree, and supported by the National Lottery. The exhibition is open during the health centre opening hours (8.30am — 6.30pm) until October 12th and is on show on the 1st floor.
On the evening of July 5th Daniel will be giving an exhibition tour and an artist talk about the project and his photographic practice in arts and health. The event is free, but sign up for a ticket here.
Maytree is an organisation using a non-clinical approach to suicide, based in a residential house. The house is a standard domestic setting with a homely kitchen, lounge, and four bedrooms, providing the opportunity for up to four guests to stay at a time. The house is staffed by co-ordinators and a number of volunteers, whose responsibility is to provide listening and befriending to those in suicidal crisis. This non-clinical approach to suicide provides a safe, supportive and non-stigmatised space for people to talk openly about their suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Daniel is a photographer and has been a volunteer at Maytree for three years and has spent two years working with volunteers shooting a series of portraits and conducting interviews about their own mental health and experiences of suicide, alongside what brought them to volunteer with those in crisis at Maytree. Alongside the portraits and interviews in the exhibition are images of the house, a transitional space where significant change often takes place.
On June 21st we had a great reception of patients, volunteers, people directly affected by suicide, mental health workers and more. Our charity chair Roy Macgregor gave an opening speech, followed by a little bit of information about the project by Daniel, and finally a closing speech about the importance of art in healthcare by Alastair Campbell. The launch raised over £1300 for the Free Space Project and Maytree through donations towards the organisations and copies of the book of the project.