Flying Fish Artists at The Cedars

Posted on 16th February, 2015

Flying Fish Artists, a group of artists who have experienced mental ill health and create art as a method of therapy, have been working at The Cedars adult inpatient unit in Exeter. The project originated when Occupational Therapist Caroline Barker (pictured above right) saw their work displayed on an inpatient unit at North Devon District Hospital several years ago. Caroline was driven to similarly improve the environment at The Cedars, where she works, in collaboration with Flying Fish Artists. Funding for the project came from the Devon Community Foundation and match funding from Devon Partnership NHS Trust's Chairman's Initiative Fund. The aim of the project was to provide images which would help to lift and inspire people who are admitted to, visit or work in The Cedars. The artwork has been well-received by people staying in the unit as well as staff and carers and, hopefully, will have a lasting positive impact. Whilst this project was underway, Flying Fish Artists moved from the Riverside Community Mental Health Team Occupational Therapy workshop in Barnstaple to independent studio premises at Rock Park Lodge and are now registered as a mental health charity. They are happy to take commissions from anyone but so far have created work for a social-housing project, psychiatric wards at the local hospital as well as the Depression and Anxiety Service for Exeter and Barnstaple. They have also opened their studio for Art Trek Week and held exhibitions at St Anne's Community & Arts Centre in Barnstaple. Flying Fish Artists welcome enquiries and visits from people who are thinking about becoming members or have a project in mind to commission, no matter how small. For more information please email or go to the Flying Fish Artists' website. Pictured above are (l-r): Flying Fish Artists member, Bonny Rowland, the FFA Chair, Rose Hannaford-Hill, and Caroline Barker