Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Paradise is any given moment

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, paradise is in the eye of the beholders imagination. Sun, sea, sand and warmth is pleasant but i'll take the excitement of the wind announcing its self like a herd of buffalo coursing through the mountain side before it flattens you, experiencing mother nature's force of rain, cold and hail, the views and of course the wonderful, diverse, brilliant amazing gang that braved the exciting elements together in Snowdon.
Together we can brave the storm of mental illness, had I been in the storm at Snowdon on my own I dare say it would have defeated me to a point if not totally, but together we braved it, together we beat it, together we were in paradise. Together made the views sparkle and the bad weather exciting rather than dull, dreary or daunting, together in mental illness we can reach paradise too. My experience of mental illness at the start was very much alone, scary, daunting and at times I did wonder if i was going to survive it for a long time, selfish thoughts of ending it all through desperation to escape from that heard of buffalo that are trampling you like the winds. Even when you try to get up they trample you down again, then the anguish and guilt for what you have put loved ones through for having these thoughts or even attempting to carry them through, thank God not successfully! My family have been my rock through out, I would definitely not have survived without them and still don't know what I would do without them! Some people are not so fortunate to have such a loving family! 
Along the way on my journey with mental illness and recovery I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of amazing people, a community of people who have suffered the same, many of which have become dear friends who have all survived the storm. I now realize I am not alone, they are not alone, we are all together and together we can make a change and find our own little paradise and help others understand, thanks Lisa for this project, you're a diamond.

Lloyd Adrian Quinn

A journey with a Yellow Suitcase

What a journey us and The Yellow Suitcase have had! We have experienced so much in a few days, we battled what seemed like hurricane 70 mph winds, snow, sleet, rain which of course we all expected, that's obligatory in Wales and tents that blew away in the night. We all captured memories that will stay with us forever. As all great story tellers know the stories get embellished over time to become more wonderful, grand, funny tragic. Our Story  from the mountain will never need to be embellished it was quite perfect just the way it became full of drama from the outset.
Well 5 of us left Reading to head off to Snowdonia to take The Yellow Suitcase up to Snowdon to launch our project. We got way up into the gods but then the snow came down and the 70 mph winds got even stronger and we were so near the summit but didn't quite make it as we were warned it was too dangerous to go further. For us though the project is launched the Yellow Suitcase has come down the mountain and is now ready to go off on it's journey into peoples lives to help them overcome what can seem like mountains when faced with mental health issues.
I think a little bit of us all changed on the mountain the , sheer size, space and beauty of that astounding place will be with us all our life times. We have been so lucky to have been at the beginning of something very special that we hope will make a difference.
We want to thank everybody for their amazing support, we couldn't have done it without you !
You can see our photo gallery from our trip . Photo gallery

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dry your eyes mate

The feather collector 

Yesterday, somebody asked me Why the Yellow Suitcase project? I said, if you have lived with someone or know someone who has been in crisis due to mental health issues, you crave every once of information to help you and them to understand whats happening  and what you can do to help and support them.

My brother became unwell a few years ago, I wished I had, had a Yellow Suitcase full of information to help support him in the best way I could.

He has touched and diced with the deepest of despair, I thought there were times I was going to loose him forever, he held on with a finger tip.
Where is there to go when every piece of you, your soul and your faith in human nature is broken into a million pieces. Me, him and my family have been on an amazing journey. The journey was painful, frightening, at times full of despair, we took days minute by minute in and amongst this time we laughed to stave away the fear, and painted together and he had this very beautiful son which i truly believe saved him, he became and is the most amazing father. We talked and talked for hours on end and we listened to music and these words make me think of those times.

In one single moment your whole life can turn round.
I stand there for a minute starin straight into the ground.
Lookin to the left slightly, then looking back down.
World feels like it's caved in proper sorry frown

Dry your eyes mate - The Streets

In time with love, listening and space he started to clamber back to the brother I knew, he never went away he was always there, but everything had become all consuming. He is a survivor and continues to live with a big heart with so much love for his wife, children and family running his own very successful business.
He thinks what he has lived through is nothing, he just wants to forget about it all and get on and live life to the fullest. He does. That's why I admire him and love him so much.

I dedicate The Yellow Suitcase Project to my brother and to the many wonderful people who live, survive and are in recovery from mental health issues who  I have worked with as an artist over the last 15 years . You have taught me a lot, I am so thankful.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Yellow suitcase bears it's soul

Now to show you the soul of the suitcase and project. We have been carefully collecting information concerning all areas of mental health, inc advocacy, crisis management, help and support services, alternative therapies, treatments, legal advice, and information for managers and HR about supporting employees with mental health issues. More often than not one of the most difficult things about having a mental health problems is talking about it, in fear of stigma and discrimination. We hope this old yellow suitcase will bring about change. x

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Out and about in Reading

On a chilly May evening some of the gang walking up Snowdon and of course the star the yellow suitcase, who outshone us all met up in Reading town centre for a photoshoot with Salvo Toscano photography. As you can see it was a very serious shoot. Looking forward to seeing all the images!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

15 days and counting.........

It seems like a good time to tell you how we all met and came up with the idea for The Yellow Suitcase project. We all meet at an art group for individuals whose lives have been disrupted by mental health issues. It is an amazing group that is full of fun laughter and creativity. It's a place where people come to share nosily, forget quietly, to dream, a space to just be. As an artist working with this beautiful gang we have shared the best and worst times together and the art group is a constant in what at times for people seem impossible. Whilst we created we dreamt up The Yellow Suitcase Project and the seven of us walking up Snowdon to bring about change. We hope that the travelling Yellow suitcase will start a dialogue, get workplaces talking and in turn this will help to look after the mental health of each and every one of us.

To see more our The Yellow Suitcase Gallery please look on our Facebook page

The Yellow Suitcase Gallery

Sunday, 28 April 2013

beginning, middle and end

Training has started for our walk up Snowdon it was a grey old day in Oxfordshire, but we made it! Things that need improving 1. map reading 2. correct walking attire 3.catering . The thing we were brilliant at on the day was the pub at the end. So that's a positive. It was a beautiful walk with much laughing and fun.