Some 30 artists from across Europe are taking part in an exhibition on 30 November at the PsycArt Gallery in Brussels under the theme ‘Home’ to promote better mental health with MEP Julie Ward as keynote speaker. MEP Tomáš Zdechovský will also contribute with a video address. It is being organised by EUFAMI (European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Ill Health) as a way to kick start the conversation around the role of family carers in mental health. According to a recent report by the association, more than 1 in 3 family caregivers are at the point of reaching breaking point. They say they will continue to fight at a national and European level to ensure their voice is heard.
“Scratch society’s surface and you’ll find a legion of carers whose work is not recognized, unpaid, and the people they care for are severely stigmatised. It is as if policy makers across Europe are turning a blind eye to their needs because investing in people with severe mental health problems doesn’t win them votes. Carers are today’s invisible workforce and we will do everything in our power to continue to put the needs they have and the value they bring on the agenda within the EU and at a national level – especially in relation to mental health.” (Aagje Ieven, EUFAMI Secretary General)
Among the artists taking part is Belgian Gaston Wuestenberg who has been producing a steady stream of work around climate change. Wuestenberg lives on the fringes of society in an abandoned house in the woods in the Belgian town of Alken outside Hasselt and considers himself to be part of the “Outsider Art” movement. Other artists include Italian Paolo Merloni , British activist and artist Dolly Sen, and Israeli painter Gil Levy .
For the exhibition, artists have been addressing the notion of ‘Home’ and what is specifically means to them. EUFAMI’s Aagje Ieven says the theme allows artists to address current hot topics in the news, such as immigration and Brexit, as well as a more personal response to identity and belonging.
“The physical substance doesn’t matter to me”, says artist Dolly Sen. “It’s being home with love, light, creativity and kindness. The older I’m getting through life experience, it’s what I carry around with me — home is that.”
This event is being generously supported by a public fundraiser and private partners including Transem, Ferrer, and La Galerie du Relieur.
Please consider supporting our event HERE and register online for free to attend the opening night on Thursday 30 November at 7pm at the PsycArt gallery in Brussels.