This week, we announced our next major exhibition, EXAGGERATE EVERYTHING, which explores the role of art in understanding mental health.

The exhibition is a collaboration between BACKLIT and Manchester-based artist initiative, Broken Grey Wires, led by Lizz Brady. 

EXAGGERATE EVERYTHING will present works by artists sharing their different personal experiences of mental health and wellbeing, with the aim of opening up difficult conversations around these subjects.

This dynamic exhibition will showcase 9 artists with a range of practices and disciplines, to explore the reality of everyday living with mental health issues. Artists include; Lizz Brady, Hana Madness and the vacuum cleaner, Dan Hett, Niall Farrelly, Benedict Drew, Eunjung Suh, Suzanne Golden, Luke Fowler and Nicola Dale. 

The exhibition programme will work with the local community, artists and environment to encourage audiences to think about how everyone’s experience of mental health is different.

Co-curator and BACKLIT’s Deputy Director Suzanne Golden said this of the exhibition:

       ‘When Lizz Brady approached me with the idea for this exhibition it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own experiences of fluctuating mental health, which began at an early age. I think we all face issues with our mental health at some point in our lives, either personally or through someone we know. 

       Talking about our mental health is more socially acceptable now than it was in the past, however, I am interested in the way that each individual’s experience can still be so profoundly unique; marked by feelings of isolation, rejection and unpredictability.

       As a small-scale artist-driven space, BACKLIT is increasingly aware of the need for artists to gain both professional and emotional support to build their practice and the need for support systems to exist within these kinds of communities. With the support of mental health groups and mental health professionals, we are exploring new ways to engage and support our community.

       The exhibition seeks to offer a warm and supportive environment where people can come with an open mind and explore a range of emotions, perspectives, attitudes and responses. We hope that this exhibition will contribute to a positive change, sparking conversations and helping us build new partnerships.

Alongside the artistic content, BACKLIT’s Learning and Community Programme will offer a range of activities for families, young people and the local community. It will explore the gallery as a space for wellbeing, offering a range of learning resources, creative workshops and social activities.

As part of the public programme, there will also be a means to access information about ways that individuals can manage their mental health, including Mental Health training led by Harmless and engaged art activities with artists. 

EXAGGERATE EVERYTHING will be open from 22 November 2019 to 15 February 2020 – Friday to Sunday, 12-5pm. Entry is Free. Please contact the gallery to book an appointment outside of these hours.  

The private view is on the 21 November from 6 – 9 pm. Everyone is welcome. Please click here to register.