Just before Christmas, I curated ‘Art is the Best Medicine’ a week-long exhibition of artworks by comedians at contemporary London Gallery, Fiumano Clase, to raise money for Mental Health UK.
There were some insanely talented people involved and it was a dream come true to have my art shown alongside the likes of Harry Hill, Jenny Eclair, Vic Reeves, Josie Long, Tim Key, Alex Horne, Joe Lycett, Jessica Hynes and so many more incredible comedians.
I am interested in the connection between art and comedy; for me, painting acts as a kind of antidote to stand-up. Creativity is a double-edged sword which can exacerbate feelings of anxiety at the same time as being incredibly therapeutic.
Artworks for the exhibition ranged from drawing, painting, and photography, to poetry, ceramics, sculpture, embroidery and video art. Everything was for sale, priced at between £50 - £600, with the exception of Rob Auton's portrait of Chris Tarrant, entitled 'I Want to Be A Millionaire', which we offered for... a million pounds. Unfortunately we didn't manage to sell it, but we did sell over 70% of the works and raised more than £3,500 for the charity.
With my colleagues at Golden Squared, we ran a successful press campaign which meant the exhibition featured in The Guardian, Financial Times, i news, The Art Newspaper, Country & Town House, Evening Standard, among other top-end publications.
A spokesperson from Mental Health UK said "What a fantastic result – we’re a bit blown away here in the office... This amount will go such a long way. It means that Mental Health UK can run its Advice and Information service in England for 3 days, which would enable our advisors to help 90 clients gain in-depth support via webchat or phone (a call on average lasts at least 30 min- the service doesn’t operate as a call centre), and thousands to access free factsheets. Thank you to everyone involved in 'Art is the Best Medicine' for supporting us."