Sunday, 20 July 2014


Last Thursday saw partners from across Europe coming together to celebrate the work of the I AM: Art as an Agent for Change project. The symposium was a rip-roaring success with lots of passion and vision from speakers including Zoe Welch from Lifeline who set the UK recovery movement in context for us. This was followed by Dr Zoe Zontou from Liverpool Hope University who shared her vision for addiction to be re-framed in terms of social activism. Following presentations from partner organisations in Italy and Turkey, it was superb to hear the voices of Joe from Pescara and Carl from good old Blighty, whose poem, I Annihilated God for U was profound and moving - and just brilliantly performed. I can’t thank you both enough. The artists Cristina Nunez and Ali Zaidi passionately shared their experiences and background to their participatory work with the delegates. This was all wrapped up in an illuminating and honest debate, and it was heartening to see people had come from as far as Brighton in the UK and superb to meet so many people in recovery - new faces and old friends.

I gave a presentation (of sorts) of the first iteration of the Recoverist Manifesto which you can see a more tempered version of, by clicking on the image above. But it is the sort of thing that needs performing. A gentle warning - it contains the f-word! But you’re an adult - you can cope! A written version of the Recoverist Manifesto with all sorts of augmentations and enhancements from new voices, will be published online in September alongside an oh-so-limited-edition, trilingual hard-copy!

The opening of the exhibition of work by Cristina Nunez, Selda Asal and Ali Zaidi - I AM: Memoirs of Addiction - followed the symposium and is open to the public until the 31st July. Because the university is more ‘secure’ over the summer months, I recommend going to the new School of Art Benzie Building on Ormond Street and the reception staff will direct you to the Link Gallery. Alternatively, access to the Link Gallery can be made via the Holden Gallery in the Grosvenor Building on Cavendish Street, but only after 12:00 each week day.

The video Per te Mamma by Ali Zaidi, is available to watch online above. All this work would have been impossible to achieve without the project management and vision of Mark Prest, Director of Portraits of Recovery, to whom I give my big thanks.

All of the work will be available online shortly, on a dedicated website that will include the art works, Recoverist Manifesto and other elements of Italian and Turkish perspectives.

WILL SELF and Urban Psychosis
The Will Self event this Friday is completely SOLD OUT, but we will record the event and post online.

Arts & Health: An International Evidence Base update
The the new online International Evidence Base that interrogates the Long-Term Health Benefits of Participating in the Arts is available free of charge and I note from a couple of emails, that those of you using Explorer as a browser, can’t see the icon at the top right of the screen that links to the work! I recommend using Firefox of Chrome, but we are looking to resolve this and will post online next week. Great responses from so many people to this work. Again, my big thanks to Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt for her great work.

Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation 
The Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation has announced that its grants making programme will re-open for applications on the 1st October 2014. The Foundation supports projects in children's hospitals and hospices throughout the UK to enrich and enhance the lives of patients. Projects that could be considered by the Foundation include amongst others:
Arts, music, play and leisure programmes
Facilities to support families of children treated in hospitals or hospices
Care and facilities in hospices
Supporting children with physical and emotional difficulties
Medical equipment; etc.
The closing date for applications will be the 5th December 2014. Read more at:

Register and submit abstracts by clicking the above banner.

Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust 
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust which awards grants to registered charities in the United Kingdom has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 1st November 2014. During 2014, the Trust is seeking to fund projects that promote Music and the Arts and help the elderly. Grants are usually between £1,000 and £3,000 and are awarded for one year. Previous grants awarded include:

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