Hi my name is James Murphy and I’m from Chessington Community College.
Since September 2017 a group of us in Year 10 have been working on Urban Stories with Bounce Theatre. We were given a brief that the project would be about living in a city. Out of all the topics we decided to make work about loneliness and mental health. We picked this topic because of how many people are affected by this and how important mental health is. A study shows that over 9 million people are often lonely. 9 million people is more the the population of Central London. The world health association did a report that predicts by 2020 depression will be the second biggest killer.
We decided to focus on a positive message, instead of focusing on the statistics and forms of mental health. Our piece recognises its ok not to be ok and you don’t have to hide your feelings.
Our ideas are in an exhibition which will feature an imagined city seen through the eyes of lonely people. It also includes stories devised by us. We have been able to work with artist David Lewis who has created a model box with all our ideas into an actual city! David has used different materials to pick up on our ideas about shops closing down, the struggle people face with access to housing and libraries closing. We thought that when places close, you walk down the streets and its full of empty shops it can contribute to the feelings of isolation.
We’ve also focused on individual people and characters such as ‘Faceless Bob’, they are faceless because they don’t feel important.
This will be photographed by Lauren Purser and go on exhibition at the Saatchi gallery.
I hope to make a ‘Happy Card’ as part of the exhibition to provide positive quotes and helpline numbers for anyone that feels affected by the issue. Personally, mental health is really important to me, it affects so many people and and with some people there is such a old fashioned attitude of mental heath being kept quiet. Thankfully thats not the case anymore, people don’t judge you for mental health and it is becoming more common for most people to talk about it which is such a great thing.
Thanks to Louise & Bounce who have made this project possible for our group. It has been an amazing experience to design an a art piece about such a relevant topic to go in Saatchi gallery.
If have advice or numbers I can add to my happy card, please email firstname.lastname@example.org