Since 1991, North Tyneside Art Studio has provided creative activities and development opportunities for adults who have been affected by mental health problems.
Together with Remembering the Past and Resourcing the Future, the studio recorded the stories of 25 individuals connected to the organisation. These personal accounts now form an archive, deposited at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, to help preserve the frequently underrepresented history of mental health for the future.
The studio’s service users became eager participants in the project. Supported by staff, artists, volunteers and heritage facilitator Curiosity Creative, users researched, recorded and interpreted the story of the art studio. They created a unique archive and moving film which reflects the studio’s impact on users’ lives over the last 25 years.
A participant in the project said: “I took the opportunity to be included in the process that became 'Colouring the Shadows'. I pulled on the costume and a new-made personality revealed; one that was made from recycled elements of the old me and newly learnt abilities that would be combined to make me a rejuvenated person.”
The premiere screening and accompanying exhibition took place in August 2017 and can be viewed on the studio's website.