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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

'Ways of Healing' Public Programme by Dare to Care Art Collective - Press Release

On Thursday 18-19th April 2024, Dare to Care Art Collective invite you to ‘Ways of Healing’, public programme accompanying exhibition ‘The Vibrant Mind’ (open from 19th April to 5th May, 2024) organised by GAMIAN-Europe.

Dare to Care Art Collective and GAMIAN-Europe have joined forces to bring the touring exhibition ‘The Vibrant Mind: Exploring Mental Health Through Artistry’ and its accompanying public program ‘Ways of Healing’ to DumBO and Adiacenze in Bologna. This collaborative effort, made possible through the support of Dumbo, Fondazione Innovazione Urbana, Adiacenze Gallery, Gamian Europe, and Dare to Care Art Collective, aims to shed light on mental health issues through artistic expression.

‘The Vibrant Mind’ project is committed to empowering individuals living with mental health conditions through the expressive power of art. This project creates a platform where artists dealing with diverse mental health conditions can showcase their work across a variety of venues throughout Europe.

‘Ways of Healing’ was conceived as an exploration of the therapeutic value of art when addressing mental health issues and finding pathways to acceptance and healing through creativity. The exhibition features works selected by Gamian from an open call held in January 2024, showcasing the talents of artists from across Europe who have firsthand experiences with mental health issues. Additionally, members of Dare to Care Art Collective contribute to the event with a series of paintings by Italian artist Cami Ruohonen and organise a public program for the exhibition opening on 19th April 2024. This program includes a performance by Ukrainian artist, Ania Duldiier and workshops led by Czech artist, Kristyna Ilek and British artist, Madeleina Kay.

These diverse works offer unique perspectives on the relationship between art and mental health, shedding light on the myriad ways individuals navigate and experience mental health challenges through artistic expression. For artists, mental health and artistic practice are often deeply intertwined, serving as both a source of solace and a catalyst for confronting difficult emotions.

The public program in DumBO and Adiacenze aims to foster an inclusive and thought- provoking environment where artists and the general public can engage in meaningful dialogue about mental health. Through showcasing artistic responses that destigmatise mental health issues, the exhibition encourages viewers to explore new avenues for personal growth, resilience, and emotional well-being.

GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe) is a non- profit, patient-driven pan-European organisation, representing and advocating the interests and rights of persons affected by mental ill health. Its principal activities relate to advocacy, information, awareness-raising, education, partnership and capacity building.

Dare to Care is a group of emerging artists from a wide range of different disciplines within the creative industry working across Europe. They focus on mental health issues, their aim as a collective is to destigmatise the debate about artists and mental health. See more about their work at

About the artists

Duldiier’s performance You’ll get used to it delves into the daily reality of office life, with its curious dance between mundanity and absurdity. Each day unfolds as a subtle variation of the one before, amidst neverending chains of emails, meetings masquerading as productivity, and the monotonous rhythm of daily tasks. Tethered to a desk by the promise of a secure retirement, Duldiier illuminates the delicate balance between present sacrifices and the uncertain prospects of the future, prompting introspection on the true cost of working in the office.

Ilek invites Bologna's artists and creative workers to an autobiographical participatory workshop I’m not a therapist, can we still talk about feelings? She will share her experiences with mental health issues in her artistic career and encourage the participants to explore theirs. The workshop will allow for an open and safe dialogue about working conditions in the arts and their impact on artists’ mental health. The first iteration of this creative research project was introduced in Helsinki in July 2023. The workshop is aimed for anyone working in the arts who would like to reflect on how their career affects their mental health.

Kay’s workshop A Thread of Empathy workshop offers participants a transformative experience centred on empathy and self-compassion through stitching. Participants are invited to reflect on past experiences that have caused and symbolically mend emotional wounds to connect with their core identity. Collaborative stitching fosters community and dialogue, culminating in a patchwork quilt, representing shared experiences and the healing power of empathy and connection. Through creative expression and collaboration, participants explore the journey towards self-compassion, resilience, and collective healing.

Ruohonen’s series of paintings Healing, touch and nature investigates mindfulness and nature through the journey from darkness to light: suffering, dealing, seeking, and healing. Before starting therapy, clear sky and greenery always helped her with anxiety and depression. Her abstract paintings Distilled memories are inspired by her skin’s recollection of nature, while the most figurative pieces support abstract ideas with a surreal atmosphere. Through her work, she wants to remind everyone that nature is a resource of wellbeing, and that we are never alone with our struggles.

The exhibition is curated by Elena Righini, an independent curator and member of the Dare to Care Art Collective. Originally from Imola, Italy, Elena now resides in Spain but has established a strong connection with Bologna. She oversees all aspects of the project, including project management, curation, and communication.


● Thursday 18th April / 18:00 Public programme Ways of Healing at Adiacenze Gallery

I’m not a therapist, can we still talk about feelings? - Workshop by Kristýna Ilek

A Thread of Empathy - Workshop by Madeleina Kay

For additional information

● Friday 19th April / 18:30 Exhibition opening The Vibrant Mind at DumBO Officina

Introduction and presentation of the project

You’ll get used to it - Performance by Ania Duldiier

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