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Art Against Living Miserably: Get involved

Ready to make art against living miserably? The CALM Art Collective's first brief is live now, and we want artists from all over the UK to get involved.

To kick things off, we want you to unpack a common mental health stat. ⁣It’s often cited that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue but CALM believes that 4 in 4 of us will hit a wall at one time or another. CALM believes we all deal with mental health, and our collective approach is built on the understanding that we’re all in this together, and can all support ourselves, our friends, our family and society as a whole. We believe that it’s Not 1 in 4 but 4 in 4, and we’d love to see your artistic interpretations of this concept.

Need some inspiration?

We asked some ace creators from the Other Art Fair's network to kick us off. Here’s what they had to say about the project, and some of the art they submitted:

Emma Cracknell:

"Being an abstract painter, my work is all about the communication of emotions that are failed by the verbal language, of the things that we can’t talk about, and so is intrinsically linked to mental health and the importance of finding a voice. When I'm creating I feel free — connected to something on a level so deep I can’t really express it, and in a cliché way, completely and utterly at peace.

Art provides perhaps one of the few opportunities we have where opposing opinions on a subject can be a positive thing and stimulate conversation. Read Emma’s full interview here."

Steven Heffer

"My brother took his life a couple of years ago after years of suffering from depression. Robert had trained as an artist and designer. I particularly liked his ink drawings which I felt were quite powerful compositions.

I have based this artwork on one of his drawings. The title is also based on some words I found written on an artwork which said “soon the summer will be gone and with it my mind“.

This struck me as a powerful phrase. It made me think about the suffering that people with depression go through.

When I am in the studio I find I am completely focused on the painting and all other thoughts disappear. In that sense, it is quite therapeutic because of the sheer concentration and focus."

Linda Chapman

"I am very aware that any kind of mental illness, depression etc can be invisible and wanted to be involved in something that is helping to resolve this.

When I am creating I feel like I am in a different world. Somewhere that only art, creativity, free expression exist. It’s an escape, a relaxation and a place I can express how I feel in whatever way I want to. I think it’s much easier to express oneself in an artistic way than saying how you feel in words. No matter what is inside, it feels better to do something with that and be able to look at it in a creative way."

Inspired? We thoughts so. Get those creative muscles flexing and go create! Sign up to join the collective here.

How to submit

Completed pieces, photos or video clips of pieces can be emailed or sent by wetransfer link to

If you have any questions on the types of submissions The Other Art Fair accept, send us an email. Thank you and get making!

Submitted artworks will have the chance to feature in the next CALM exhibition at The Other Art Fair in October.