Within and Without

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It’s true to say that for the 3 weeks of the main Love Arts Festival,  art and it’s relevance to wellbeing had been on everyone’s lips, along it seems with plenty of cake crumbs, …including my own!, …why, the memory of eating a  delicious piece of homemade, sticky ginger lemon drizzle at Inkwell during one of their Festival events, lingers still, I read this week that the orbitofrontal cortex in the brain lights up when eating cake, as it does when experiencing some effects of being loved, ….ooh…ah…mm ….cold weather comfort?……I will return!

The party may be over for the festival, but it’s not yet ‘time to call it a day’, here are the still  remaining related events, … ‘Within and Without’ , which is described in the Love Arts booklet as, ‘an eclectic exhibition of portraiture’,…a tongue in cheek look at portrait making,  ‘working across a variety of media, from photography to painting, encompassing new technologies’, ….another self portrait?! no, not THAT one! but one by David Lewis, the Leeds based artist Tony Tomlin did however exhibit a rather humourous portrait of Bobia Dylania, eating corn on the cob!!, Tony a forever young, life long learner in pursuit of his art, uses play on words as titles for his work.

The exhibition continues until January 25th at The Gallery in Flannels store, Kirkgate,  adjoining the gallery is the Food Academy restaurant, yet another of Leeds many oasis, you can enjoy the  view over the roof tops of Leeds, at twilight the buildings of the Victoria Quarter have a fairy tale palace look about them, and will so even more once the city centre lights are switched on Thursday 7th November, at 6.45pm.

Meals and  light snacks prices in the Food Academy bar /restaurant compare favourably with many other central haunts, but to get a tea or coffee for £1.50 in such pleasant and airy surroundings, a surprising bargain, the restaurant  offer talented catering and hospitality students from Leeds City College apprenticeship, the Love Arts closing party was held here, and it was was good to see there that Stuart Harrison from Inkwell Arts got an award for his contribution to the arts,  heart-warming too was that the Peer Support Service, for People Living with Dementia, were also recognised for creative work with their client group, it was pleasing to see Jane Edwardson’s input into the Healing Voices Singing Group, got the judges thumbs up, I was in the choir last year and had balked a little when it was requested we sing in the Light as part of last years Festival, but with Jane’s calm and assured manner, along with the support of other choir members, and kindly audience who sang along with us for the final song, I managed  ‘butterfly’ free, for someone who for many years found it hard to say boo to a goose!, a big achievement.

Love Music is the subject of an additional event. a film documentary, scheduled for  November 21st, at Trinity Church, Boar Lane, Leeds, tickets £7.50 information about the musicians, theme of the film and tickets available here 

Did the Festival achieve its aims? that of getting people thinking and talking about the experience of living with mental illness, or its residual effects and treatments? Has it been a success? those able to be involved or observe will undoubtedly say yes, but this year the Centre of Medical Humanities at Leeds University worked with the Love Arts team and some of its participants in conducting  research as to its outcomes, what their thoughts  on  the upshot  of this and similar cultural events were, how valuable they might be in improving  the public’s perception and understanding of people with lived experience of mental illness, results of the research are awaited with anticipation.

The art work on display in the Light during the early days of the exhibition, gave evidence that peoples creativity has not been stifled by their experiences with mental health issues, It was good to see that the public were more than willing to own an original art piece, and pay the market price, well done to the artists for displaying their creations, it’s often risky displaying creative pieces to others, and I know what a confidence boost it was, to those known to me who managed to sell their work.

Preparation and planning for this event which has taken place  annually for the last three years, is in its self a work of art, and a labour of love, some laboured so hard their physical health took a dip, the additional change of season and clock turning might well put many  at risk, so it’s time to cosset oneself a little, especially if mood fluctuation is a problem normally.

I’m not sure how soon the Love Arts  organisers start planning for the next Festival, but most of us know how much coordination, planning and cooperation goes into getting even simple projects up and running, so a big thanks of appreciation goes to them, and of course to the participants, audience and sponsers without whom it could  not be a success, so a big cheer for them too.

Su

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