Art, Anxiety and Me. Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre

The exhibition open on 2nd February (Time to Talk Day) and runs until 16th April 2023.

Sent on behalf of Sarah Palmer:

We live in an age of anxiety, and like so many others, I suffer from regular and debilitating bouts of it. I had a nervous breakdown in the summer of 2010, brought on my work pressures and stress, and since then anxiety has formed part of the fabric of my mental landscape. 

Like many people I take medication, but I also learned that I had to find my own medications for easing the symptoms, so I bike regularly and enjoy the peace and calm of the beach and the woods. But I also prescribe myself daily doses of art. These often take the form of responding to what I see around me in the townscapes of Grimsby and Cleethorpes, for which I have become known locally. But, my 60+ sketchbooks are also full of illustrations about how my anxiety makes me feel, and also some of the ways I try to process it, as well as the journaling work to try to help me understand more about why I sometimes feel the way I do.  

This exhibition is a collection of some of the illustrations I’ve drawn over the last three years; years which have been defined my Covid lockdowns, and major world events. Being able to draw about my anxiety, and the actual process of choosing colours and working with images helps to calm my brain and give me tools to help me cope with an increasingly anxious planet. 

I have taken the decision to share this art with a wider audience in the hope that they might inspire others to use their own creativity to help them cope with mental stresses, or, make them realise that they aren’t alone.