We recently installed a new temporary exhibition at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, in collaboration with Lavender Walk Adolescent Mental Health Unit. In this blog, we hear from project leads Chloe Cooper and Jackie Walduck:
Hello! We’re artist Chloe Cooper and composer Jackie Walduck.
We recently worked with students from Chelsea Community Hospital School, based at Lavender Walk Adolescent Mental Health Unit, to create a series of marbled prints and musical compositions. These are on display in a temporary exhibition, Diagnosis: Dreaming, Drifting, Waiting, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Using Turkish marbling methods, the students created prints, which inspired mesmeric musical compositions that reflect the drops, swirls, and disintegrations of the paint. For the sound compositions, we layered up voices with instruments, distorted paint floating on thickened water and disintegrated patterns and loops. During the process we discussed the volume of different colours, the shape of different sounds, and how we can create a shared vocabulary across both art and music.
Have a look at the prints below and listen to the musical compositions via the QR codes included in this blog post. Can you hear the paint fall? Do you see loops, rhythms and melodies? The prints look a bit like the ink blots used in psychological tests invented by Hermann Rorschach, but here, the pairing with hypnotic music is intended to facilitate a state of calming, mildly dissociative trance.
Inspired by our time working with the students, we made our own audio-visual pieces. These pieces integrate QR codes for the musical composition directly into the marbling. The prints also incorporate words and textual aspects relating to our personal experiences.
We produced these in a collaboration over Zoom. This enable us to maintain our real-time approach for creating marbling and music in dialogue with each other, whilst continuing to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions and government guidelines.
This project aims to challenge the stigma around mental health, proving that young people with mental health difficulties can contribute to their local community not in spite of, but because of, their lived experiences.
We have collaborated with CW+ to be able to share the artwork produced by the students with the wider public at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. We hope to encourage patients, visitors and staff to contemplate diagnostic experiences, our control over our bodies, and the role of creativity in wellbeing.
The exhibition is on display until August 2021 in the waiting area on the Ground Floor at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Funding for this project was awarded by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Arts Grants Scheme.