Norwich artists hope exhibition will help tackle stigma of mental health

Lynda Waterson, at home with her printer and artwork, the spokesperson for the Well Project, a group

Lynda Waterson, at home with her printer and artwork, the spokesperson for the Well Project, a group of Norfolk artists living with mental health issues are putting on their first dedicated exhibition at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

A group of Norwich artists with mental-health issues is exhibiting for the first time at the Forum, thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Well project will be showing its work from April 29 to May 2 with a mixture of painting, print and pottery, on sale to the public.

The group was formed in 2006 and meets monthly at the Workshop in Earlham Road.

Each member of the group works from home, and Lynda Waterson, a spokesman for the project, said: 'We've never had an exhibition just for our group before and it's so exciting, especially with the amount of visitors that the Forum gets and they'll be able to see our work.' The 62-year-old retired printer, from Darrell Place, on the Larkman estate, added: 'It's a great opportunity for us and hopefully it will help tackle the stigma that is still attached to mental health in this country.'

The former Norwich City Council worker was medically retired after suffering a breakdown, and it was suggested to her that as part of her therapy, she needed to have a creative outlet.

'I did a course at City College Norwich on art, which was for people returning to education. Making art helps to keep me healthy and gives me stability,' she added.

She has been a printer for about four years, and has a small table-top press at her home. She added: 'The largest prints I can make are A3-sized. I'm very interested in architecture and Norwich cathedral is fascinating to me. I have done drawings of it which I then print.'

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The Well is one of 39 projects across the eastern region sharing £279,912 of Awards for All funding, and is using its award of £646 to hire The Forum space.

Sara Betsworth, Big Lottery Fund's head of the east of England region, said: 'From mental health to tackling unemployment, the Awards for All programme is here to help a huge range of people, projects and ideas.'

Organisations throughout England with an income of £30,000 or less can apply for repeat and ongoing activities under Awards For All until further notice. Through this, Big aims to respond to the many pressures small organisations face with cuts to funding and rising costs.

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To find out more about the group, people can go along to its next meeting at the Workshop in Earlham Road today at 11am. Or visit