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2022 Festival

The 2022 festival ran from 9-15 May 2022 (to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week) with a programme of varied, vivid arts events - online and IRL! in real life - that aim to create a platform for high-quality artwork that deals compassionately and intelligently with mental health. 
 
Festival Director Dawn Richardson:
 
'Through our shared rich culture of the Arts, we can challenge stigma and mental-health inequalities in our systems and society. 
 
We can support the recovery and wellbeing of those who have experienced mental-health issues through accessible, interactive, empowering arts projects. 
 
NI Mental Health Arts Festival is created by, and for, those who have faced mental-health challenges and who are often missed by both the arts and health education models -providing a space where people can gain insight & share experiences.'

The theme of this year's festival is 'GATHER'. Writing in a specially-produced publication for the 2022 festival, Richardson writes: 

"Did you know that a group of puffins is called a ‘Gathering’? 

 

The cute little buggers decide to make Rathlin their home for a few months every year to breed, eat, squabble and clown about, before off they go back to sea without even a thought about putting the bins out or turning off the immersion.

 

How wonderful it is to have the freedom to be with others. To spend time with those you love, to argue with those whose opinions differ to yours, to avoid those that hurt you and to forgive those that you can tolerate. 

The festival is dedicated to all those who do not have the ability to gather in safety – be that in protest, in war, in persecution or in health. It is a privilege to have the physical and mental health to get about in this world safely and without fear, the time and space to gather one’s thoughts – a privilege we seldom appreciated until it was gone. 

 

The world keeps turning, we will gather way and the puffins will return.

 

Thank you to the festival team and our funders."

Flax Art Studios

09 - 11 May

Flax Art Studios

I hope this finds you well

Care, collaboration & cake.

Sunflower Pub

11 May

Sunflower Pub

Comedy Club

Night of stand-up comedy for NIMHAF & Mental Health Awareness week.

Dan Dowling

11 May

Dan Dowling

In Conversation

Enjoy a unique tour of the Diploma Collection of the RUA.

McAlinden & Willis

12 May

McAlinden & Willis

The Power of Arts, Advocacy & Activism

The Power of Arts, Advocacy & Activism on our Mental Health and Well-Being.

Sinead  Crumlish

13 May

Sinead Crumlish

Void Tots

Messy, sensory play for guardians and their little ones

Banana Block

14 May

Banana Block

Jump, Jiggle & Jive

Colourful dance props, dancing games and activities.

Tessa Ann

14 May

Tessa Ann

Sound Mindfulness Experience

Sound experience promoting relaxation and mindfulness.

Belfast Exposed

14 May

Belfast Exposed

Photography Treasure Hunt

Fun photography workshop capturing Belfast’s rich architectural heritage.

Rachel Reid McCann

Throughout

Rachel Reid McCann

'Gather' playlist

Selection of curated music around the theme of 'Gather'

Void Derry/Londonderry

Throughout

Void Derry/Londonderry

Art packs

Three wonderful, fun art packs available specially for NIMHAF.

Emic

Throughout

Emic

As You Are

Street art that explores mindfulness and meditation

Kerrie Hanna

Throughout

Kerrie Hanna

Gather

Stained glass work made around the theme of ‘Gather’.

Jasmin Marker

Throughout

Jasmin Marker

Manifesto for Wilderness

Publication examining injustices that people with ADHD face.

Sal Hanvey

Throughout

Sal Hanvey

Gather our senses

'Gather our senses' cooking workshop - Flat bread and Tzatziki dip.

Anna Donovan

Throughout

Anna Donovan

Baggage

Collection work that attempts to illustrate our ‘Baggage’.

Stephanie Gaumond

Throughout

Stephanie Gaumond

Everyday Drawing for Mindfulness

Short mindfulness drawing meditations that allow you to take a break and relieve stress.

Ruth Osbourne

Throughout

Ruth Osbourne

Mindful-Mark Making

Mindful mark-making workshop using objects from around your home.

Dr John Deery

Throughout

Dr John Deery

Jack

Film directed by Dr John Deery, PhD Cinematic Arts.

Open Call

Throughout

Open Call

Poetry Map 2022

View all shortlisted poems on an interactive Poetry Map

Mel Bradley

10 & 13 May

Mel Bradley

The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen Table – Creative Writing workshop with Mel Bradley.

Frank Rafferty

11 May

Frank Rafferty

Silver Tongued Deviance

Open mic platform for Spoken Word performers.

Zoe McSparron

12 May

Zoe McSparron

Explorative Drawing

Create your own layered images responding to objects in the current exhibition.

Seamus Heaney Centre

12 May

Seamus Heaney Centre

Mind

Readings and performances in 7 minutes or less - an evening all about MIND.

Seefin

13 May

Seefin

Live Performance

Drawing on influences from classical, folk and traditional music, Seefin create a sound all of their own.

Jack McGarrigle

14 May

Jack McGarrigle

'Fool's Spring' Workshop

Workshop using the themes in Niamh Roberts ‘Fool’s Spring (in Berlin)’ work as a starting point.

Helen Merrigan Colfer & Noelle Mc Alinden

14 May

Helen Merrigan Colfer & Noelle Mc Alinden

Tribes & Tribulations

Helen Merrigan Colfer in conversation with Noelle Mc Alinden

Richardson & Brennan

15 May

Richardson & Brennan

Roonivoolin Unnamed Road

Big screen premiere of an improvised document of an artistic gathering on Ireland's most northerly island - Rathlin.

John Macormac

Throughout

John Macormac

Rule Driven shape version 5

Video that makes Macormac's unique drawing process visible.

Heather Byrne

Throughout

Heather Byrne

Gathering found objects for drawing

Fun and creative drawing workshop with found objects.

Barry Cullen

Throughout

Barry Cullen

Diddley Bow Workshop

Acoustic tech workshop

Jo Strangford

Throughout

Jo Strangford

Printmaking Workshop

Printmaking workshop.

Jonny McEwen

Throughout

Jonny McEwen

T o g a t h e r

Exhibition exploring the landscape of the mind through semi figurative studies

DARDIS

Throughout

DARDIS

Hydro

Ambient sound artist DARDIS invites you to get immersed in sound through Hydro, an instrumental meditative album on the theme of water.

Jennifer Willis

Throughout

Jennifer Willis

Seen to be Heard

Compelling solo exhibition of portraits honouring 16 female participants living with the challenges of Secondary Breast Cancer.

Brain Injury Matters

Throughout

Brain Injury Matters

A Piece of Me ...

Group exhibition exploring the theme of ‘Gather’ and its meaning to Brain Injury Matters artists.

Sinead Crumlish

Throughout

Sinead Crumlish

Paper craft and weaving workshop

Spring Butterfly Paper Craft workshop

Jonathan Bailie

Throughout

Jonathan Bailie

Quiet

He isn't talking about his problems. He's keeping them to himself. Becoming consumed. Isolated. Until it’s too late...

Leanne McLaughlin

Throughout

Leanne McLaughlin

Rag Rug Tutorial

Learn how to make your own simple rag rug with this fun tutorial

Marcus Patton

10 May

Marcus Patton

Drawing buildings workshop

Guided drawing workshop with the renowned artist and architect.

The Enthusiasts

11 May

The Enthusiasts

Have a Blast

Have a Blast with ‘The Enthusiasts’ choir

Hosford Garden Group

12 May

Hosford Garden Group

Creative Miniature Gardening

Creative Miniature Gardening drop-in session

Re-Vision

13 - 15 May

Re-Vision

Half Way Out Of The Dark

Archival exhibition to be explored amid the importance of mental health and well-being.

Strand Arts Centre

14 May

Strand Arts Centre

Trolls: Emotions Workshop for Children

Film and emotions-themed workshop for children

Figure This Life Drawing

14 May

Figure This Life Drawing

Hybrid life drawing class

'Figure This' returns to the festival with an extra special hybrid life drawing class.

Zoe Mc Sparron

14 May

Zoe Mc Sparron

Junk Sculptures Family Workshop

Drop-in session for parents and their children. Try a range of creative activities together.

Sinéad O'Neill-Nicholl

Throughout

Sinéad O'Neill-Nicholl

I too walked

Contemplative and unsettling listening experience.

Phil Kieran

Throughout

Phil Kieran

The Quiet Land

Newly scored music to accompany archive film ‘The Quiet Land’.

Niamh Roberts

Throughout

Niamh Roberts

Fool’s Spring

Exhibition in CCA Project Space

Leon Clowes

Throughout

Leon Clowes

3 Voice Pieces from Days Of Future Past

Three-part long-form radio collage piece

Noelle McAlinden

Throughout

Noelle McAlinden

The Art of Conversation

Noelle McAlinden in conversation with a host of creatives in venues throughout Belfast.

NIMHAF

Throughout

NIMHAF

'Gather' 2022 Publication

Read the NI Mental Health Arts Festival 2022 Publication on the theme of 'Gather'.

Damo Scrawls

Throughout

Damo Scrawls

Scratchings, Abstractions, Stabs in the Dark

Exhibition of new work at The Strand Arts Centre.

Elspeth Vischer

Throughout

Elspeth Vischer

Spontaneity Moves

Spontaneity Moves is a short documentary featuring renowned artist, Jack Packenham, in conversation.

Katharine Paisley and Phil Keers

Throughout

Katharine Paisley and Phil Keers

Control Room

A collaborative exhibition exploring concepts of control and reality.

Hayley Gault

Throughout

Hayley Gault

Gather

Hayley Gault is a sheep farmer working on her family farm in East Antrim.

Hannah Loudon & Dr Emma Loudon

Throughout

Hannah Loudon & Dr Emma Loudon

Thanks Therapy! Podcast

Informative and light-hearted discussion of all things therapy and mental health.

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