Encountering art ‘Out of the Blue’

The Kilkenny Basement Art Group is holding an arts exhibition in the South East office of Shine, at the Good Shepherd Centre, Church Lane, Kilkenny from tomorrow (Thursday) until the end of the Arts Festival.

The Kilkenny Basement Art Group is holding an arts exhibition in the South East office of Shine, at the Good Shepherd Centre, Church Lane, Kilkenny from tomorrow (Thursday) until the end of the Arts Festival.

The exhibition is entitled ‘Out of the Blue’ – “nothing to do with mental health, but due to the group only deciding to hold the exhibition approximately two weeks ago,” as one of the organisers explains.

“After our experiences with the dragon project for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade (see ‘Shine Mental Health on YouTube, which has had nearly 1,000 hits already), we as a group have begun to understand that in order to succeed in these type of ventures it is imperative we pull together as a team of individuals, identifying in ourselves the area of expertise we can bring to a project and allow others the space to bring theirs and how we can utilise those skills to complete a project.”

It was decided therefore to work with the theme of Community Art and community co-operation. “To become involved in the mental health art community, you do not need to have a mental health difficulty,” said Shine regional development officer Martin Matthews. “It is about being part of a community in which you share a common interest or connection. In my opinion it also works the other way around – because you may have a mental health difficulty, it should not limit the groups you get involved in.”

“I have often heard it said that when a person who has a diagnosis of a mental health difficulty begins to attend programmes to address these difficulties exclusively with other people with mental health difficulties, it can be difficult to break into what is termed mainstream communities or groups,” he said. “With that in mind, the Kilkenny Basement Art Group have invited people who would not traditionally become involved in mental health groups but have an interest in art.”

The exhibition will include six main artists, male and female, and pieces will include sculpture, painting, collages and photography. It will be open to the public from August 8-13.