Black Mind followed up the national #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek in May with a creativity and mental health inspired takeover of the Art Bypass Gallery, London in collaboration with Sweet 'Art. They curated an exciting programme of culturally & trauma-informed live events including an indigenous Igbo queer feminine art exhibit, a live poetry opening party, 3 wellbeing workshops, collaborative painting & writing, Black-made books for sale and ongoing soul reading sessions. At the intersection of art, activism and mental health care – Black Mind brings you a radical peek under the mask.
During the exhibition period, Black Mind curated a debut exhibit of Amarachi Rachel’s first collection – Amarachi: Uncovering Grace through Chaos.
Black Mind also featured 2 healing arts products in the Sweet Art zine library; BadMind, a zine by Black Mind Artists and Little You by Rachel Nwokoro’s debut poetry collection.
There was also the opportunity for visitors to contribute to Make Your Mark: Collective poem creation. This was a welcoming and ongoing open space where people can write collaborative insights from the space into the group poem on the Black Mind iPad or physically write/draw a reflection on our standing canvas. While unmasking through the week, we archived our thoughts on how creative practices can support a journey of homecoming, transformation and safe surrender. Reflecting with dialogue and drawings, we deconstructed the igbo meaning of “A huru m gi n’anya” - I love you and I see you – this year’s national mental health awareness week’s theme is loneliness; we ask - how can community better embrace vulnerability?
Under The Mask with Black Mind is a radical open space event inviting discussion, expression and community reflection that centres Black people while welcoming all. We are curating an interactive live poetry evening where the themes of masks and feminine mythology are explored with conversation, creativity and good vibrations. Indigenous creative healer Ezenwanyi Amarachi Rachel Nwokoro introduces how her use of “emotional unmasking”, with visual art and poetry, has provided the mystical opportunity to communicate with her unseen self and resulted in improved mental health outcome. Under the Mask is an opportunity to listen to poetry, discuss art, experience a multimedia installation of an Igbo-feminine historical stimulus (currently held at Wellcome Collection, London), contribute your mark to a new collaborative creation and share an authentic part of yourself. One magical evening of intrigue and storytelling where we unpack timeless (often repressed) themes of masquerade, captivity, wild expression, nature, neurodivergence, disability and difference! Book your ticket here
Create a sacred space
A Black Mind wellbeing workshop where we look at past versions of a divine space and explore how relation to special objects can facilitate healing transformation. Community is invited to paint and imagine what a sacred space could mean to them. Together we decolonise the visualization of mental healthcare using indigenous healing arts. Tickets can be booked here
Akuwamgbe & the elemental self
A Black Mind wellbeing workshop inviting collective self reflection through visualisation, movement and play. Facilitated by Ezenwanyi Amarachi (Rachel Shapes), participants are invited to give names, sounds and creative expression to their abundant and unseen aspects using indigenous healing arts. Tickets can be booked here
Feel the vibes
A Black Mind wellbeing workshop to demystify the ancestral sciences by learning from how Igbo foremothers used to attune to, embrace and alchemise surrounding energy. Community is introduced to how the lunar-based Igbo calendar can be used to manifest an embodied awareness of our inner and outer universe. Tickets can be booked here