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Mental health charity Centrepieces opens Bexley art exhibition

PUBLISHED: 15:53 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:53 20 November 2017

Centrepieces was founded by artists from Bexley and surrounding areas

Centrepieces was founded by artists from Bexley and surrounding areas

Archant

The exhibition will try to offer a greater understanding of mental health

Sculptures, paintings and other artwork created through a Bexley mental health project will be displayed at an exhibition starting this weekend.

The charity Centrepieces, founded in 1999 by a group of local artists, is behind the exhibition at the Stables Gallery at Hall Place, which tries to offer a greater understanding of mental health.

Between 150 and 180 pieces will be on display. All have been created by members of the charity who live in Bexley and surrounding areas and have experienced some kind of mental illness.

Running regular workshops in various different forms of art, from sculpture to photography to mask making, the charity aims to improve the confidence and self-esteem of people who are suffering from mental health problems while offering an opportunity to socialise. It also gives people the chance to display and sell their work.

There are currently more than 100 members who take part in the charity’s art activities, each of whom is entitled to display a piece at the exhibition.

Karen Larkin, a volunteer at Centrepieces, joined the charity when experiencing anxiety and depression last year. In the coming weeks she will be running a workshop on how to make Christmas decorations using pasta.

Larkin said: “A year and a half ago I couldn’t have done this. It’s helped me to build back my confidence and now I can help other people.”

One of the valuable things about the activities is that “everyone can appreciate and understand the difficulties another member might have,” she continues.

With no paid members of staff, the charity relies on a core group of around 30 volunteers who help with everything from administration to running activities. Donations are used to buy resources and to cover the costs of office space and arts tutors.

The charity’s activities are open to people of all arts abilities, and members include artists who sell their work in galleries to people who have developed an interest after being referred by a support worker.

Centrepieces: Open Exhibition 2017 runs from November 25 - December 21 at the Stables Gallery, Bexley. Admission is free.

The charity is also looking for new volunteers and fundraisers. For more information visit www.centrepieces.org.

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