On Monday 25 January, we were incredibly excited to attend the opening event of ‘Letting in the Light,’ a collaborative exhibition between us, Daily Life Ltd and Bethlem Gallery. The exhibition showcases high-quality work by 35 artists on the subject of how art can shine a light on our understanding of the experience of mental distress – beautifully displayed in illuminated lightboxes in the centre of Stratford, East London. In this blog post, we’ll share a bit about the opening event, and some photographs of the lightboxes.
The opening event consisted of a viewing of the lightboxes (we got to see them in daylight and, even more wonderfully, in the dark), before heading over to Stratford Library, where there were drinks, nibbles and live music. The event was incredibly well attended, with visitors including artists with work in the lightboxes and their friends and family, arts professionals, and passers-by.
The live music was a fantastic addition to the evening, and the positioning of the band drew attention to a slide show of work by artists who had submitted to the call out – it was a great touch that all the works submitted were able to be included in the event in some way.
Artistic Director Bobby Baker’s speech was inspirational, touching upon the importance of the arts for people experiencing mental health issues, and she was followed by Stratford Councillor Mas Patel who gave a great speech about including more public art in the borough of Newham in East London. Finally, Errol Francis, Director of the Anxiety Festival in 2014, spoke about the innate power of the arts to transform people’s lives.
There was a great atmosphere at the event, and it was brilliant to be able to look out of the window of the library and see the display lighting up the streets of Stratford.
Exhibiting artist George J Harding said of his involvement in the exhibition: “I really like the lightboxes. They show the work in a different kind of way – it really puts a focus on the work. I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
The exhibition of lightboxes will be in Stratford centre until 24 March 2016. The hope is that the works will brighten up the lives of passersby during the dark, damp winter months. Click here for more information.