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Art for Recovery

Being creative and engaging in the arts can have a very positive impact on your wellbeing and recovery.

Cultural engagement reduces work-related stress and leads to longer, happier lives. This has supported by the conclusions of a report by an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) published in July 2017 – Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing.

Here are some art exhibitions taking place in Nottingham at the moment, all of which are free to attend and look at different aspects of the arts.

1. The Institute of Mental Health's (IMH) annual summer exhibition ‘Traumascapes and Landscapes of the Interior’ explores people’s experience of trauma, to ask "Can art heal emotional scars?" IMH has worked with Nottingham charity City Arts to create the art exhibition. The works on display explore different aspects of trauma and include: Allan Oliver’s Electric Dreams, which captures the loss of identity that comes after electro-shock therapy; Chris Ellis’ Wheelflake 3 which was inspired the trauma of losing a job due to disability; and Yvonne J Foster’s The Filing System of Trauma which explores how memories are stored in our minds.

The exhibition runs at the Institute of Mental Health on the Jubilee Campus of the University of Nottingham until 28 September 2018. It is open for viewings on weekdays from 10am to 4pm.

2. The House of Linder at the Nottingham Contemporary is an exhibition curated by the punk artist and musician Linder, partly as a retrospective of her 40 year career but also to explore her interest in the art and architecture, fashion and theatre, music and design.

Described by The Guardian as “a mysterious collage of art, life and history, a vast sprawling array of fragments, a mental cabinet of curiosities that is both self-portrait and self-effacement,” this exhibition is extremely diverse with over 200 works by 30 artists including works by Inigo Jones, Mike Kelley, Alison and Peter Smithson, Moki Cherry, Ithell Colquhoun and Heidi Bucher. This exhibition runs until 24 June 2018.

3. Scaling The Sublime: Art at the Limits of Landscape is on display at the Djanogly Gallery at Lakeside Arts until 17 June. This contemporary art exhibition explores connections with Romanticism. The artists included reflect on our relationship with the unimaginable forces of nature, even in our modern age of technology. Drawn to subjects such as mountains, glaciers, the icecaps, forests, the ocean, the moon and the remotest stars, this exhibitions promises experiences of wonder, melancholy, futility and absurdity through the newest processes and techniques as well as traditional methods of image making.

4. Support our local university students and check out the Nottingham Trent University Art and Design Summer Show. It is one of the UK's largest free public exhibitions of creativity and innovation by over 1,300 graduating artists and designers, from 22 undergraduate courses across the School of Art & Design and the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. The public viewing takes place from Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 June 2018 across the City Campus on Goldsmith Street.

“The arts can keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived.” - Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing.

If you are looking for new art exhibitions in Nottingham to enjoy, the Nottingham City Art Map is a great overview. We hope this encourages you to try something new in Nottingham and consider a different way of supporting your recovery and wellbeing.

If you are interested in looking at creativity for your recovery in more detail, the Nottingham Recovery College has a number of courses you may be interested in, including ‘Creativity and Recovery,’ ‘Journaling for Recovery’ and ‘Music and Your Mood.’ Please refer to our prospectus for more information.


  1. Celia Walker says:

    I would like to see the exhibition ,when I have been I will write a blog to let you know if it resonated with me

    Added on 17 Sep 2018 at 06:39 PM

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