Published on: 21 October 2022

Derbyshire artist Kate Smith is exhibiting a series of paintings in two venues in Derbyshire to raise awareness and generate everyday conversations around mental health.

The exhibitions are to mark World Mental Health Day, which took place on Monday 10 October.  There are six paintings at Ilkeston Community Hospital and an exhibition at The Elephant Rooms in Draycott. 

Kate, an artist, designer, children’s illustrator and workshop leader, has a mental health condition called acute and transient psychotic disorder.

Kate has shared her mental health journey through a project supported by Arts Council England by creating a series of watercolours, each one depicting different reflections on how her mental health manifests itself.

Kate said: "I've always enjoyed art and I started to use drawing and painting as a coping tool when I was in hospital. When I was in a dark place, art helped."

The artwork represents the positive and negative experiences that Kate has with mental health.

Ifti Majid, Chief Executive at Derbyshire Healthcare, said: “Kate has helped many people using the Trust's mental health services to benefit from the power of art in their recovery, and this exhibition showcases a fantastic display of Kate’s interpretation of mental health, particularly drawing from her own experiences.

“Art can be seen as a therapeutic activity for many people and often acts as a form of expression through illustration, design and colour as opposed to articulating thoughts and feelings through speech.

“We hope that Kate’s work resonates with those who attend the exhibition.”

The drawings will be displayed in Ilkeston Community Hospital throughout October.

The paintings at The Elephant Rooms will be on display from Monday 10 October to Friday 21 October and can be viewed Monday to Friday between 9am – 6pm for public view.