Dorota Chioma, an artist and poet, exploring a range of topics associated with mental health and grief. In June Dorota brought together a host of performers, speakers and artists for her latest sellout event at Harmony Hall, Walthamstow, London.
When she lost her dad due to cancer in the first lockdown, with borders closed she had no other means but art to deal with this loss.
Nature has a sentimental value to Dorota, woods in particular, as she spent a lot of childhood in the woods with her dad.
This is how the collection of artworks titled Into The Woods emerged. But why woods?
And this is how it all started and led to the event - Into The Woods - a journey through the woods of our minds and lives showcasing creative approaches to telling stories about mental health.
To go into the woods is a metaphor for a dangerous, challenging quest where one has no idea of the outcome – which often includes uncertainty if the journey will be survived.
This led us to mental health challenges and the language that we use when talking about mental health. Therefore, we had a few speakers who shared their ‘into the woods’ or ‘out of the woods’ stories associated with their mental health conditions.
We heard incredible stories of lived experiences of bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis, PTSD, etc.., and shared some misconceptions associated with these conditions.
The way art accompanied these stories was magical. There was music, poetry, fine arts, fashion, and more…
The Into The Woods collection will be exhibited at the Harmony Hall in Waltham Forest, until September 2023, so there is still some time to see it.
This project came to life thanks to a collective effort, mutual mission, and teamwork of many organisations which focus on mental health: Talk To Change London, CREST Waltham Forest, Time to Talk Waltham Forest Hub, What's Going On In Your Head, just to mention a few.