“Drawing People Drawing”: art for mental welfare
Young British artist Lucy Payne depicts the environment of Project Abilitiy’s studio, a place where people with mental issues come together to paint.
Drawing is a type of meditation. It is therapy for mental welfare. The British illustrator Lucy Payne illustrates this idea in her last exhibition titled Drawing People Drawing, which is available at Trongate 103 Studio until 27 May.
It is a collection of 10 intimate portraits Payne drew while she volunteered at Project Ability, a charity offering visual art workshops for adults and children with disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health issues.
Every Thursday for four months, Payne participated in a programme called Aspire, aimed at adults with learning disabilities. Her duty was helping them to paint. She was inspired by the vibrant environment of the studio and considers drawing the best way to know a person. She decided to draw individuals whom she was working with- that is how Drawing People Drawing began.
Her illustrations were also printed on a brochure alongside poems written by Aspire’s participants.
“I used to be slick + black but now I am messy + colourful. I am useless without electricity. Electricity is my food”, one poem says.
It is not the first time Payne has used art to represent people as well as places. She did so in her past series called Couples and Kitchen, both which are shared on her website. A Recent graduate from Glasgow School of Art, Payne has already created her own distinct style of art that is fresh and colourful. She never uses black to depict her models.
In addition to Aspire, Project Ability offers a programme called Create for children and young people with disabilities, as well as ReConnect for adults with mental issues. Kirsty Palmer, exhibition director at Project Ability, said participants become more confident by taking part in the workshops because they provide an excellent social platform.
“Through visual art, participants not only develop practical skills, but also access opportunities to exhibit and sell their work, and to widen their horizons by networking with other artists locally, nationally and internationally”, she explains.
Learn more at project-ability.co.uk