The Phoenix Project’s art show - Take a Walk on the Wild Side - opened at the Hive in Ipswich on World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2023.
The Pass It On Collective is the latest partnership project between ICM and our friends at the Phoenix Project and this week they put on their first Art Exhibition of pieces they've been creating over the summer.
The show included drawings, acrylic, oil and ink paintings, collage work, crafts, mindful writings and photography.
All of the work on show had a connection with nature. Some had been submitted by individual group members, other pieces were created during our True Thoughts creative mindfulness sessions on Friday afternoons at the Friend’s Meeting House.
The exhibition attracted groups and individual visitors including local artists and health professionals, guests from the New Skill Centre, Radio Suffolk, South Street Kids, Ipswich Community Media and the Hive community. Phoenix Project members supported the exhibition throughout the week. They welcomed guests at our private view and engaged with visitors telling them more about the work and some of the ideas and processes behind it.
The group met at the Hive the Thursday before the show opened to plan out the space and then again on the Friday to hang the work and create the beautiful Take a Walk On the Wild Side lettering.
Over the course of the week nearly fifty comments were left in the visitors book including…
“You are all so very talented. I am in awe of you all. I have loved the exhibition - so uplifting and I am leaving with a smile on my face. ” — Bruce, ICM
“Some really beautiful pieces of art here. I felt very moved at times reading the stories behind the art. Really important work.” — Nikki , ICM
“Absolutely delighted. Everyone really enjoyed it and got so much from it. Really proud of everyone.” — Gary, Phoenix Project member
Two Phoenix Project members, Tracy and Robert, were interviewed by Cad Taylor from BBC Radio Suffolk about the show, True Thoughts and the therapeutic benefits of getting involved in making art and spending time in nature.
Cad Taylor interviewing Tracy during our private view event on Monday 9th October
We had a feedback and celebration session at the Hive on Friday 13th October and gathered a few more thoughts and impressions on the exhibition.
Robert said he liked the presentation of work on the white walls, “I reckon it looks really superb”.
The group agreed that the Hive felt like a good space for the show with all kinds of people dropping in and different groups seeing the work and using the space. “It’s very welcoming when you walk in the door. I'm impressed by it - all the work in the cabinet and all the drawings and the paintings hung on the walls. 10/10!”
Tracy told us how she had people telling her that they really liked her work (including another group member who wanted to commission her to produce his next album cover!)… “It really made me warm and gave me a real boost to think that somebody had looked at something I've done and said ‘that's good that I like that’. I was really touched with the response”.
Well done to all involved.
The Phoenix Project hosted their own event at the Smokehouse in the evening.
CLEARWATER (aka Matt, Jeremy and Suzanne, of ICR FM’s Clearwater Show).
Starting at 7pm the group had a full programme of performances lined up including Jon Fuller (aka the Wasp Factory) with his musical nature journey and a performance by live band Clearwater.
They performed a mix of specially selected tunes. They had iSounds graduate DJ Jayasarule and topping and tailing the night was DJ Jah Cheech with some uptempo sounds. There was also a special performance by the Phoenix Project Choir of Phoenix Rising, freshly rearranged by Jon Fuller and spoken word and song performances by other Phoenix members - Robert Rainbird, Gary Jackaman, Winston Bayross and Carl with four favourite songs, including one of his own numbers!
It was a beautiful and moving evening recognising how important it is to look after our mental health.
We're hugely proud of everyone who took part and contributed. Massive well done to all involved. Two great events, and a wonderful way to share the creative talents on Pheonix Project participants. Go team!
Phoenix Project Choir
Thanks also to the Hive and Smokehouse for hosting these events.
To find out more about the Phoenix Project visit phoenixprojectipswich.com