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Artists and academics share perspectives on mental health; ADVERTISING FEATURE.

THE ATTIC project brings together a range of people with different perspectives to explore the personal, cultural and scientific aspects of these subject areas.

The project began in October 2012 as a collaboration between artists Julia Thomas and Sara Annwyl, located within the attic space of Cardiff based mental health charity, Journeys. The project draws upon Sara's curatorial skills and Julia's scientific background in genetics and statistics, as well as their own art practices and personal experiences.

In February 2013 ATTIC launched its Rapid Cycling programme, named after a term describing a pattern of rapidly changing symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.

The programme mirrored this pattern, with a quick succession of six artists selected to create new work and take part in a series of residencies within the space.

Curated by Sara and Julia, artists Sara Rees, Amy O'Driscoll, Susan Adams, Gail Howard, Richard Huw Morgan and Victoria J E Jones were able to use the uniquely secluded attic space to explore both private and public aspects of the mind, with a focus on creating dialogue and discussion.

Installations in the space have included the kinetic sculpture Growth, which featured weeping and exploding pipes and The Whole Shebang, a hands-on exhibition on the theme of shelter.

Attic founders Julia and Sara are now set to join artists Joan Molloy, Jan Williams and Rhys Bevan Jones for How the Light Gets In, an exhibition in the BayArt Gallery in Cardiff Bay which forms part of the Medical Research Council's 2013 centenary celebrations. The event will also feature film footage and documentation from the ATTIC project.

The exhibition aims to encourage further dialogue between art, science and academia, and will focus on the research of the Medical Research Council's Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (MRC CNGG) (

The CNGG is closely aligned with the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), which is working to learn more about mental illness with the aim of improving diagnosis, treatment and support for those affected by it. Scientists from both centres, along with social scientists from Cardiff University, will present alongside work created by the selected artists.

Speakers including Professor Keir Waddington, Professor Paul Atkinson, Dr Nigel Williams, Dr James Walters, Dr Anthony Isles and Professor Adam Hedgecoe will discuss themes such as the history of asylums, futures and expectations, psychiatric genetics and biological art.

There will also be opportunities for visitors to find out more about the MRC centre and NCMH and how to become involved in their research. How the Light Gets In takes place at the BayArt gallery from Monday, July 1 to Saturday, July 6. | For the latest information on the event, follow @CdfMRCcentenary on Twitter. You can also keep up to date with ATTIC on Facebook ( or on Twitter @cardiffATTIC. For information about Journeys mental health charity see | If you are interested in taking part in mental health research, please visit the National Centre for Mental Health website at for more details, or email or call 029 2074 4392.


| Julia Thomas' previous installation Big Science II formed part of the Translation exhibition at BayArt

ATTIC window room PICTURES: Julia Thomas and Sara Annwyl (c)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 27, 2013
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