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New community group formed from Harris Museum & Art Gallery creative project

Masks made by Free Your Mind

Free Your Mind are a not-for-profit community group that has formed from a small group of adults that were participants on previous creative projects at the Harris.

The key aim of the group is to raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community, through active engagement within arts and culture.


Free Your Mind have been based at the Harris since March 2013 and have been working alongside the Harris’ Access and Inclusion Officer to develop their group identity.

Part of this development process has included: creating a Free your Mind constitution and mission statement; fund sourcing; individual personal development; consultation with the public; identifying partners and devising their first creative project – developed using consultation findings.
 


Their first project which started in January 2014 has had a sculpture focus, working with the Preston-based artist Peter Hodgkinson (creator of the Tom Finney bronze statue outside the PNE football stadium).

The 8 week project was offered to adults that were using or in touch with mental health services – these services were targeted, for example the Community Mental Health Team within the NHS, to generate interest from individuals that might benefit.
 
Working with the Peter, the Free Your Mind team selected the Alexander Frieze featured around the café walls of the Harris as the inspiration for the project. The frieze was chosen due to its accessible location in the Harris, it is also a plaster cast from a mould, which is the Artists specialism. It was decided that the participants on the new project would create individual relief “tiles” with the artist, using plaster casting techniques.

Process and product was an equally important part of the project. The Free your Mind team felt that the main objective for participants would be that they would make new friends and enjoy themselves along the way – in fact, the plaster casts were a by-product from having a great time socially!

The timetabling of the project was set for a Friday afternoon to give participants to the project the opportunity to generate positive feelings that would hopefully see them through the whole weekend. You will be able to see the plaster casts this October as go on exhibition in the display cases in the Harris café.
 
 
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Get Involved
The Free Your Mind group are also looking for new committee members, so if you or someone you know is interested in joining their committee group, please
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