I was invited in 2000
by Immediate Theatre to
work as lead artist and production designer on there first and second
I have also had a design input into the current project and am currently
researching how the project could reach a wider audience in light of it
wining a Community Care Award.
I have also worked as publicity and production designer for two other
Immediate theatre projects Interaction and Strategy
Cracked is a one-day awareness -raising workshop for staff working
with people with a dual diagnosis of mental health problems and problematic
drug and/or alcohol use. Immediate
Theatre was asked by the East London and City Mental Health Trust
to find a way to help mental health workers gain a greater understanding
of street drugs and help drugs workers better understand mental health
When it started researching the issue, the theatre found there was an
attitude among some workers that clients were "bringing it on themselves",
that many hospital beds were unnecessarily taken up by drug users and
that somebody else should be dealing with the problem.
To tackle this, the theatre enlisted a local artist and dual diagnosis
service user, to create a series of artistic installations using video,
2D and 3D techniques and sound, and the exhibition explored attitudes
to drugs from many different perspectives. It looked at how drugs are
marketed; how patients feel about giving urine samples and constantly
having notes taken about them and the stress of constant poverty.
Responses to the exhibition were used as part of the workshop day, which
also included exercises to develop networks between the voluntary and
statutory sector, quizzes about drugs and exploration of a case study
through still images made by participants. By taking a fresh and innovative
approach to a complex problem, Cracked has produced an entirely new way
for workers to appreciate the stresses that lead to dual diagnosis from
a clients perspective, while still having their own needs respected.
More than 450 workers
from 50 agencies have attended the Cracked workshop, and feedback has
been very positive. Service users have said that there has been a marked
change in staff who seem to be developing a broader and less judgmental
understanding of the complex issues faced by service users.
The project won a Community Care Award under the drugs and alcohol category
in November 2002.