Trigger warning: This episode deals with issues around mental health and suicide.
If you or someone you know are feeling emotionally distressed, you can contact Samaritans where help is available for anyone struggling to cope and provide a safe place to talk 24 hours a day. Links to other organisations who offer support can be found in this episode’s description.
Welcome to the second season of Out of SPACE, a podcast by SPACE hosted by artist Cathy Lomax.
In this episode of Out of SPACE’s Care series, we are looking at mental resilience with a focus on the very particular challenges that artists face in maintaining good mental health. Cathy is in discussion with artist filmmaker Billy Dosanjh and physiologist and sleep and energy expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.
Being an artist, or more precisely maintaining an artistic practice, is hard, with continual obstacles that interfere with and often derail our ability to work. Notable amongst these are financial, but self-doubt is also a continuing issue for many of us. It can be tough to carry on carrying on and for this reason it is helpful if not vital to develop some mental resilience alongside the vulnerability that can be such an important part of the creative process.
You can listen to the Out of SPACE podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and your web browser.
Listen to season 2, episode 5 here >
Cathy Lomax is a London-based artist, the founder of Transition Gallery and the editor of Arty and Garageland magazines. She is currently researching the role of makeup and artifice in the creation of the Hollywood female star image for a PhD at Queen Mary University of London. Cathy’s paintings and installations assimilate the seductive imagery of film, fame and fashion, juxtaposing it with personal narratives and the everyday. Her particular interests are femininity, masquerade and the way that popular culture is constructed, consumed and related to. In 2014 Cathy was an Abbey Painting Fellow at The British School at Rome and in 2016 she won The Contemporary British Painting Prize. Her 2017 solo exhibition The Blind Spot is profiled by Matt Price in The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting. Recent exhibitions include Star Bar, Broadway Cinema, Letchworth Garden City (ongoing), The Immaculate Dream, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London (2019) and Dear Christine, Vane Gallery, Newcastle (and touring) (2019).
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan has worked as a physiologist and sleep & energy expert for over 25 years, and is the author of numerous books including Tired but Wired and Fast Asleep Wide Awake. By using a blend of physiology, psychology, philosophy, professional and personal insights, including her own experiences of mental health issues, she works with individuals, organisations and sports professionals to create profound shifts in awareness and consciousness. She says that her work is always practical and most importantly that its ‘small things that make a big difference’.
Billy Dosanj was born and raised in Smethwick in the West Midlands, studied at The National Film and Television School and has gone on to a career as an artist and filmmaker, making films that explore diaspora stories, inspired by his lived experiences and those of his family and community.
Billy is currently in pre-production on his drama feature debut, You Get Me? with BBC Films and BFI, based loosely on his 2005 documentary Beauty Queens. His work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and venues including Somerset House, and his first major solo show Traveller, Your Footprints, opened at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham in September 2022. Alongside this he is an Associate Lecturer in Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths and is on the board of the Flatpack film festival.
About Out of SPACE Podcast
A podcast by SPACE, featuring artists from across our studios. Artists are in conversation with writers, critics and art professionals, offering a closer look into what happens behind closed studio doors. Out of SPACE is hosted by artist / curator Cathy Lomax. Over the next 4 episodes we will continue to explore the theme of care from multiple viewpoints, and hear from artists and creative practitioners about their approach to care in their work, life and their surroundings.
Out of SPACE is a podcast series produced by SPACE, London’s largest artist studios provider. To learn more about the artists taking part, and for further resources, please visit the What’s On section of SPACE’s website at www.spacestudios.org.uk/what’s on.