Bobby Baker's Art Exhibition at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

An exhibition of a collection of diary drawings by Artist Bobby Baker will be launched at NUI Galway Wednesday, 6 October at 5pm. The exhibition will run from 6 October to 30 October, in Aras na Mac Léinn and the foyer of the Arts Millennium Building in the University. It is one of a number of events organised as part of Mental Health Week, 10 to 17 October, 2010. The Exhibition entitled "Mental Illness and Me, 1997 – 2008", depicts Bobby's experiences of day hospitals, acute psychiatric wards, 'crisis' teams and a variety of treatments, while coping with personal mental illness. The drawings chart the ups and downs of her recovery, family life, work as an artist, breast cancer and just how funny all this harrowing stuff can be. Bobby Baker, who is based in England, will give an illustrated talk on Wednesday, 13 October at 8pm at the Bank of Ireland Theatre. She will explore how painting, breathing and madness led her to create the remarkable series of drawings on which the exhibition is based. The collection of drawings on display in NUI Galway is part of a larger exhibition that is currently on display in Dr Guislain Museum, Belgium. The smaller collection of Bobby's diary drawings are being shown in a variety of galleries, hospitals and educational settings, including NUI Galway to make them accessible to the wider public. Speaking about the exhibition, NUI Galway's Arts Officer Fionnuala Gallagher says, "It is a rare and wonderful thing to view Bobby Baker's Diary Drawings. Bobby has exposed her deepest fears and at the same time has interpreted them for the audience with a subversive wit that makes you laugh and wince simultaneously, at the plight of the human mind, at war with itself." The exhibition and illustrated talk is organised by The Arts Office in association with the Health Promotion Service and Student Services at NUI Galway as part a number of events to take place during Mental Health Week at the University from 10 to 17 October. The theme of NUI Galway's Mental Health week is "Building Resilience - to protect mental health and wellbeing", encouraging students and staff to – "Sign up, Link in, Get involved", to build resilience in their lives. Health Promotion Officer at NUI Galway, Cindy Dring comments, "It is important to look after our mental health as well as our physical health in our everyday life. The theme of Mental Health Week, 'Building resilience', is even more relevant than ever before during these economically challenging times. Resilience - the ability to cope with life's ups and downs can be learned, and will help us to see past today's difficulties and enjoy life more. Research has found a strong link with community participation and resilience. Here at NUI Galway there is plenty of opportunity to build resilience and to have lots of fun while doing it by getting involved in volunteering, joining a club or society, or signing up for a workshop in the Mind, Body & Soul programme."
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