Mental health: Hackney’s story

Hackney Museum's new exhibition Creative Journeys: a response to mental health in Hackney, present and past explores the history of mental health care in the borough as well as how participation in the creative arts is helping those with mental health issues today.
The council-run museum has teamed up with Core Arts, a charity that promotes positive mental health through involvement in creative activity, to tell the story of mental health care in Hackney. It documents the changing attitudes towards the illness as well as the local institutions, which housed the patients.  It also uses visual and audio art to illustrate the creative journeys of those who have suffered severe and enduring mental health issues and how their artistic explorations have formed part of their treatment.
The free show opens today and will run until 25 May. The wide-ranging work on display reflects Core Arts’ groundbreaking approach to the subject, where individual strategies and responses have been encouraged and emerge strongly in the personality of each artwork.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, and Culture, said: “Hackney Museum has worked closely with Core Arts to bring us this challenging and thought provoking exhibition. I hope the exploration of how involvement in creative arts can help people with mental health problems serves to raise awareness of this important issue along with the provision and support available locally today.”
Painting, sculpture, conceptual art, and a listening booth featuring music made and released by members of Core Arts are shown alongside personal testimonies.
An interactive programme of free workshops, family learning and other events will accompany the exhibition including: Creative Mind Mapping for adults and children as well as discussion on arts and wellbeing. For more information on the exhibition and for full details of activities, visit:
Notes to editors
Events programme

Families Workshops
All workshops are led by artists exhibiting in our Creative Journeys Exhibition. Workshops are drop-in, free and suitable for all ages
February Half Term
Wednesday 20th February    2-4pm
Mapping My Mind
What did you do today? What did you think about today? What’s on your mind right now? Create mind maps with words and images inspired by artwork from the exhibition
Thursday 21st February         2-4pm
Mapping My Patch
Create mono prints and drawings of your most memorable places and meaningful journeys in Hackney creative support from artists
Easter Holidays
Wednesday 3th April              2-4pm
Paper Cranes
Write it down and let it go… Write your secrets and hide them forever in beautiful origami paper cranes which will become part of our new exhibition!
Thursday 4th April                   2-4pm
Mood Knitting
Relax, knit and natter together. Fun finger knitting for all the family inspired by artwork from the exhibition
Wednesday 10th April            2-4pm
Mapping My Mind
What did you do today? What did you think about today? What’s on your mind right now? Create mind maps with words and images inspired by artwork from the exhibition
Thursday 11th April                 2-4pm
Poetic Journeys
Be inspired by unique Museum objects to create your own story and capture it on camera
Creative Journeys: Exhibition Community Workshops and Adult Events Programme March – May 2013
All workshops are led by exhibiting artists and are drop-in
Creative Workshops for adults
Tuesday 19th March     2-4pm
Creative Mind-Mapping
Explore what’s going on inside your mind, your thought processes and ideas by creating mind maps with words and images, inspired by artwork from the exhibition
Tuesday 26th March     2-4pm
Creative Knitting
Learn how to knit or finger knit to create your own work or start something new, in this contemporary craft session
Tuesday 16th April        2-4pm
Creative Maps
Draw and print locations past and present, and journeys that hold personal meaning for you, on top of current and historic maps of Hackney with inspiration from artists
Tuesday 23rd April        2-4pm
Creating Paper Cranes
Let go of your past experiences through scribing each onto paper, then folding each into an origami crane which you can attach to a mobile. Later, after the exhibition, these can be floated down the River in a procession, to dissolve.
Please email: to attend the end event
Evening Talks
Thursday 11th April       6-7.30pm  
The Artists Talk: Tour of Exhibition
Thursday 18th April       6-7.30pm
Round Table Discussion on Arts and Well Being
Welcoming Commissioners, Health Practitioners and Service Users
Thursday 2nd May         6-7.30pm
Poetry Performance by Core Artists
For a place on the evening talks please email: or call 020 8356 2509