Jennie Grace

The gallery, from its foundation, has been ‘art focused’ moving away from identifying people my any diagnosis, but as artists. This year for world mental health day we have asked artists to explore the theme of their own identity. Jennie got into art when her youngest was small. They use to make collages together, as well as using waste furniture people had thrown out by revamping them. It was then, she started to revamp her first piece of furniture. She thought how wonderful it might of been if somebody spent time with her when she was broken and battered. This has inspired her to use this metaphor in supporting others who are hurting by using art of a way of expressing one's self. Jennie started an art group which meets in the gallery weekly, inspired by the community spirit and positive atmosphere of the gallery space. The participants are encouraged to improvise, experiment and play. Jennie has spent the last six years speaking up against any forms of abuse and the effects it has on our mental wellbeing. Jennie has spoken at events held by MPs in Parliament and in NHS buildings as well as schools helping to support positive changes for the best. As art was her way to express her pain, she wants to encourage others to see art as a healing mechanism to help them bring a calm and clear mind. Jennie was a guest speaker at an event run by the Metropolitan police, speaking to over 1000 professionals regarding her life and how we can work together, she is also a published author, who strongly believes by sharing and using her experience, it has helped her in believing that her past is being turned into a positive. It doesn't mean what she went through was right, it just means she has the power to face her past as a tool to help others see that our mental health isn't our identity.