Edition 1 of the now offline “Online Arts” website (launched June 02) contained five strands of work produced by people from Teesside, all of whom had experienced mental health problems or social isolation. One series of images had been produced by a young man attempting to recreate his delusions, the other four sites represented collaborations between community groups and locally established artists.
Digital artist John Shingleton worked with people at Parkside Day Centre, Middlesbrough.
Redcar and Cleveland Mind
Poet and artist Val Magee worked with people attending Redcar and Cleveland Mind. During the residency they all visited Billingham Folk Dance Festival, and recorded their impressions on camera and in words. They subsequently produced a poem and a series of digital images, later reproduced within the website.
A young man who had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, attempts to recreate some of his delusions, using digitally altered photographs. The resulting images were very powerful.
Artist Sarah Nicholson worked with people from Stockton who were supported by occupational therapists and other day services. They produced boxed artworks, a video and poetry on a CD Rom, on the themes of memory, identity, anxiety and depression.
Poet Norah Hill (at the time Middlesbrough’s Poet Laureate) and visual artist Sue Thompson worked with people who attend Age Concern Teesside. Participants made scrapbooks and wrote memoirs, then the two artists produced work of their own in response. Norah’s poems were printed on hand-made paper, and Sue made subtly coloured boxed works, based on memories of school. Both of these sets were given to Age Concern.
Poet and artist.