Letting in the Light is a vibrant new art exhibition set to illuminate the streets of Stratford, East London and challenge the way we think about mental health. The title is a reference to Groucho Marx’ immortal line: 'Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.’
Consisting of a series of large light boxes, featuring images of paintings, drawings, digital and mixed media work by 35 artists with personal experiences of mental health issues, Letting in the Light will literally lighten and illuminate the darkness that many feel throughout the year, but especially when the perceived gloom of January follows all the hype and sparkle of the holiday season. THe lightboxes will be situated on The Grove, opposite Stratford Library.
The exhibition is produced by artist Bobby Baker’s pioneering Stratford-based arts and mental health organisation Daily Life Ltd, in partnership with Outside In and Bethlem Gallery. Artist and Artistic Director Bobby Baker says: "When I had serious mental health problems I was mostly judged and underestimated, but when people see the autobiographical drawings I made during that time it helps change the way they think about mental health. Experiencing mental distress and difficult times are part of the human condition and can form a rich basis for reflection and awareness. Artists like us, with unique experiences, can create work that enlightens and delights people.”
Work ranges across the spectrum, from abstract art to figurative painting, from detailed and complex drawings to collage. Some pieces are thoughtful and contemplative, others ironic, funny, joyful or exuberant.