Inspirational exhibition Atlas to Recovery at B Arts


By Kath Stanway, B arts

An exhibition exploring themes of recovery from mental ill health, created by people with lived experience working alongside local artists, opens to the public at B Arts on Saturday 1st April.

Atlas to Recovery exhibition logo, B Arts

Atlas to Recovery is a multi-arts project involving professional artists and facilitators Susan Clarke, Saul Hewish, Kath Stanway, Dan Higgs, Siobhan Mcaleer, Fateha Begum, Andrea Joseph, James Earls-Davis, Emily Andrews and Cynthia Coady; working with B arts Advisory Group and Volunteer Performers, The Social Agency, ASHA, Changes and Growthpoint.

The broad theme of the project is recovery, particularly from periods of mental ill health. Each community group has worked with two or more artists and facilitators to create an exhibit of four large interactive maps, made using decoupage.

The maps, based on a type of medieval map called a Mappa Mundi, tell stories of people’s experiences, expressed in imagery and text. Each map includes a number of buttons that, when pressed, trigger audio recordings of stories and accompanying the exhibit is a musical soundtrack.

Atlas to Recovery has been funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Project Grants.

Susan Clarke, Artistic Director of B arts, said: “Atlas to Recovery is an exciting new piece of work that is exhibiting in our building in the first week of April. It is a fantastic opportunity for our artists to continue to put the lived experience of our participants at the centre of the work. Times are hard for us all and so we can all benefit from listening to people who continue to recover from trauma and stress every day. We are also very pleased to say that the project has been funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.” 

Saul Hewish, Project Leader of Atlas to Recovery, said: “We enjoyed working with group members. They have a lot of great ideas about how to express people’s experiences of recovery. We’re really excited to present our ideas that have grown into large pieces of art.”

A participant at Growthpoint said: “The process of recovery from mental ill health is different for everyone. The Mappa Mundi is a great way to show this because they are less about a realistic representation of a particular landscape, but much more about a way of communicating ideas, stories and beliefs.”

Atlas to Recovery event poster

What to expect

You will receive a warm welcome with accessible facilities.

The on-site café Bread in Common will be open for lunch on Saturday 1st April, and drinks and snacks on Sunday 2nd – Thursday 6th April during opening hours. In the evenings of Monday 3rd – Thursday 6th April the Bread in Common Bar will be open from 6pm serving a range of alcoholic and soft drinks. The café will also host an open mic evening from 6-7pm Monday – Thursday evening.

Getting to B arts:

The number 25 bus stops outside the building, at the bottom of the bank down in to Stoke.

Car Parking

Vale St Car Park, ST4 7RL

Aquinas St Car Park, ST4 1NQ

Please do not park over the road at St Andrews Square this is for residents only.

B arts is at 64-72 Hartshill Road, Stoke, ST4 7RB

Website: B arts

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