This post is the latest in a series of articles from guest bloggers. Each week experts and activists in fields of homelessness and mental health explore some of the issues raised by a Here At Home film.
From NFB interactive, Here At Home is a cutting-edge documentary experience that offers a look inside At Home, a radical experiment to end chronic homelessness. Led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the experiment is the largest of its kind in the world. The theory it’s testing: there’s a way to end homelessness for people with mental illness and it starts with giving them homes.
For today’s post we matched the Moncton film, “Where I Belong” with Lisa Brown, Founder and Executive Director of Workman Arts in Toronto. Workman Arts is an arts and mental health company known internationally for its artistic collaborations, presentations, knowledge exchange, best practices, and research in the area of the impact of the arts on the quality of life of people living with mental illness and addiction.
I am very encouraged by Lise’s story and how the At Home/Chez Soi project has supported her in the way in which she wanted and needed the support.
The creation of art is often an isolating experience, particularly that of a painter. Most artists need quiet, calm psychologically safe spaces to work in.
Lise has found through having her own home and a supportive arts community, the perfect combination to a healthy and creative life.
For over 25 years, Workman Arts has provided a supportive arts community to artists living with a variety of mental illnesses. Like Lise’s mobile home and arts community, Workman Arts provides a psychologically safe space for artists to train, create and present. The artists develop their arts practices in a variety of disciplines from the Visual Arts and Media Arts, to Performing and Literary arts. Like Lise, these artists sell their work to the public as works of art.
Workman Arts member Melissa Bender says it like this:
“Show me a person with mental illness and I’ll show you a person with mental illness. Show me an artist with mental illness and I’ll show you an artist.”
And Lise, you have done just that. Your paintings are gorgeous. You are a fabulous artist. Please let us all know how we can see your portfolio and how to buy your work.
I would be privileged to have one of your works hanging in my home.