This Olympic inspired project is an homage to celebratory public events such as the Macy‚Äôs Thanksgiving Day Parade, Scout and Girl Guide Jamborees, the Lord Mayor‚Äôs Show, Trade Union Marches and will present a large-scale programme of work by people with experience of mental illness - a hidden and often socially excluded community that has never before been associated with the Olympics - to be enjoyed by everyone.
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United and led by the vision of an artist with experience of long-term mental illness and recovery, Bobby Baker and Daily Life Ltd aim to create an extraordinary participatory Art Pageant as a national and international platform for the ‚Äòmad world‚Äô. The team will coordinate a national programme of workshops with regional partners to design and create spectacular banners, which will form the central image of a public parade to be held in London, March 2012. These workshops will be run by regionally based artists selected for their personal links with and vision for their local community in partnership with a wide range of existing service user groups, health and voluntary services. The banners will act as striking visual representations of this disparate and diverse community and will bring together individuals and groups of all ages and walks of life in a captivating celebratory presence as they are paraded through the streets of London. A festival of events will be held in London at the end of this national programme of workshops, featuring music, performance, visual art and sculpture selected so as to display the extraordinary and diverse talents of this world-wide community. Bobby Baker will also devise two participatory events - a ‚ÄòMad Gym‚Äô and a ‚ÄòMad Kitchen‚Äô -which will look at how diet and exercise help with mental wellbeing. The festival will culminate with the public parade. The parade banners can be displayed within public health settings as a physical legacy of the event, but more importantly this project has enormous potential to attract wide spread media attention, creating an archive of public and private visual imagery to inspire future generations. Issues raised by the work will help foster social cohesion, debate, new cultural skills and relationships amongst service users, services and the wider community. A detailed budget is still in progress and will be updated.
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