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Vince Laws Blog - disability arts online
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My Mental Helmet / 9 November 2011

I’ve had two pieces selected for a 6 month long exhibition in Nottingham called 'Diversity'. It's been put together by City Arts, Nottingham and The Institute of Mental Health and aims to make visual the experience of mental health difficulties. I proposed, and the organisers commissioned, My Mental Helmet. It’s the only 3D piece in the exhibition.

My Mental Helmet is safer, darker
Heavier, harder to communicate
Here I am alone, protected
Isolated, insulated from the throng
Crying in carparks, round and round
Ripples in a goldfish bowl
But you can’t sleep
When you think about it.

I’ve been thinking how depression is like being in a crash helmet. The exercise of painting text onto the helmet helped me edit the poem down to what was most important. I wanted to write MY MENTAL HELMET across the visor, with YOU THINK ABOUT IT underneath, and the rest developed as I painted. The drop shadow on the text really brought it to life. I like that it looks like a giant snail. Someone said it looks like an Easter egg. I’m looking forward to getting it back in 6 months time!

Institute of Mental Health, Sir Colin Campbell Building, University of Nottingham, Innovation Park, Triumph Road, 
NG7 2TU


9th November until May 2012, Monday-Friday 9-5.
Full details, parking and directions at
 www.city-arts.org.uk

All the best, Vince x