Survivor Arts exhibition
Artwork by Lisa Biles

As part of the World Mental Health Day events which took place at The Barber Institute, the Department of Social Policy and Social Work organised a presentation and guided tour of the Survivor Arts Exhibition on the 7th Floor of the Muirhead Tower.

The Survivor Arts Project began in 2006 following a conversation between John (a mental health service user) and Dawn (a social work academic). John felt art, as well as the friendships developed through it, had helped save his life. He wanted social workers to understand this. He also wanted people outside of the day centre where he practiced his art, to recognise the creativity of those often hidden within.

In offering a space where this creativity could be displayed, the Social Work department at the UoB was able to create, through the Survivor Arts Exhibition, an opportunity for dialogue and understanding between service users, social work students, academics and visitors to the university.

Over the last 10 years the exhibition has grown to include a wide range of survivor arts  and continues to this day to educate, challenge and inspire.

Following on from this event we are looking to collaborate with the Wellbeing Team at the University of Birmingham to develop a number of further opportunities across campus where the arts can be used not only to educate, challenge and inspire but also to enhance the wellbeing of students and staff.