Manchester Art Gallery launches a new mindfulness exhibition co-curated and co-produced with mental health service users.
And Breathe explores the relationship between art and mindfulness and ia a collaboration between Manchester Art Gallery, Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust (GMMH), Start in Manchester and Manchester Mind.
Mindfulness can help us become more aware of thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as our surroundings by taking time to just pay attention to our senses. This immersive experience has been designed around the idea of art being utilised in recovery and wellbeing.
Part of a larger campaign, Mindful Museum, the exhibition is inviting visitors to spend time engaging with art. All elements from the audio guides, the colour of the walls, the height and comfort of the furniture has been carefully selected to enhance wellbeing.
Louise Thompson, Health & Wellbeing Manager at Manchester Art Gallery, describes how the gallery, through its partnerships with GMMH, and Manchester Mind, is using art for positive social change. Louise hopes that the exhibition will “bring mindfulness to a larger audience” with over 500,000 visitors to the gallery every year. “We want service users to be pleased, proud and to take ownership of creating a really special environment.”
Cathy Fortune, Arts and Culture Partnerships Coordinator at GMMH, applauds the partnership as “involving service users from the beginning and in a big way.” Cathy who has been an integral part of the project states that the aim was to create a space to slow down and appreciate art and that you have the permission in this space to sit and chat.
Carved on the roof of Manchester Art Gallery, the engraving reads ‘for the advancement and diffusion of knowledge’ a sentiment which Alistair Hudson, Director for Manchester Art Gallery and The University of Manchester’s Whitworth believes is the “future for the institution.”
The exhibition is open until March 2019. Find out more on the Manchester Art Gallery website here.
Exploring the relationship between art & mindfulness is possibly my fave exhibition yet. Please, take a seat... @mcrartgallery @MAGlearning #MAGAndBreathe #MAGwellbeing #Manchester pic.twitter.com/XiBWfWUCWJ— Roisin Murray (@RoisinMurray81) March 20, 2018
And breathe... loved this innovative display which opened today @MAGlearning - includes free guided #meditation and explores connection between #art & #mildfulness - Just what my stressful day needed! @GMMH_NHS @ManchesterMind #mentalhealth #health #awareness #MAGAndBreathe pic.twitter.com/SssvDZxDZn— Jonathan R Jones (@_jonathanrjones) March 16, 2018