Our banner shortlisted for a Design in Mental Health award

22 March 2019

Our new Tavistock and Portman banner has been shortlisted for 'Art Installation of the Year' at the Design in Mental Health Awards.

Tavistock and Portman banner outside the Tavistock Centre

The banner was a collaborative project with Ed Hall, a banner maker for trade unions and exhibitions for 30 years, and the Trust’s artist in residence, Rachael Causer. The idea was to make a banner that would celebrate the diverse community of the Tavistock and Portman, its rich history and many achievements. 

Rachael writes, “My intention from the outset was that this project should be a genuinely collaborative work that would include not only voices and thoughts but also the physical handy-work of individuals - service users, their families and the staff that make up the Trust. It was important that the banner worked as a graphic image from afar and up close revealed the work of many hands. I’m a huge admirer of Ed Hall’s work and was delighted when he agreed to come on board with the project”.

Ed writes, “I was asked by the artist Rachael Causer to be part of this project at the Tavistock and Portman, which was very exciting. It involved us holding workshops and talks at the Tavistock.

"My job was to listen carefully, to use the ideas and the material produced in workshops by Rachael, patients and staff to make a visual display which was obviously a banner with a title, slogans and a centrepiece.

"The project saw many reiterations, but rested on the idea of a stormy sky to reflect that life is not always tranquil and a sea which carried words from service users within the waves.

"A rising sun is a symbol of hope and a simple rowing boat being steered across stormy waters symbolises confidence and help in times of difficulty”.

Banner project - banner detail

Over the course of the year-long project, Rachael worked with children and parents at Gloucester House School to produce the painted fabric for the stormy sea and sky and with patients, staff and families to individually embroider the buttons that represented the rain drops.  

Ed did a tremendous job of gathering the material together to make a beautiful and meaningful banner

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