Pocc x Clear Channel Art Fund launches a new series of public artworks focused on mental health

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Clear Channel UK, one of the UK’s largest Out of Home media and infrastructure companies, and Pocc, the creative network driving cultural impact, unveiled the second instalment of their joint artists-in-residence programme. The campaign will showcase the works of nine artists across Clear Channel’s digital Out of Home sites nationwide from 10th May.

The brief to the Pocc network of creatives and artists was to explore how the individual attends to their mental health and, in turn, share their secret to self-care. Curated by Pocc’s Chief Creative Officer Kevin Morosky and Pocc’s Head of Copy, Natasher Beecher, the final selection of artworks features practical pointers communicated in each artist’s style that will act as gentle reminders to passers-by to check in on their mental health.

Kevin Morosky, Pocc Chief Creative Officer on the campaign: “We’ve all evolved in the past year. During the lockdown we shared resources, advice, life hacks, banana bread recipes and most importantly our own struggles as well remedies. This campaign is a great opportunity to continue and not lose the generosity found in simply sharing. It not only inspires but lets those dealing with similar issues know they are seen, understood.”

Lucy McKillop, Head of Brand Marketing at Clear Channel UK said: “As we mark Mental Health Awareness Week it feels ironic (the Alanis Morrisette kind) as someone who has mental health issues, that I am struggling to articulate why it’s so important that we asked Pocc to create artistic responses to the importance of self-care in the fight for good mental health. But it is. Mental health issues disproportionately affect minority groups – and the lasting effect of the past 18 months is going to playout in the mental health sphere. So, I for one am going to go on a walk and take the amazing pieces of artwork in, created as the second instalment of the Art Fund Project, and enjoy the tips and tricks from the ever brilliantly creative Pocc community, on how to take care of myself – I hope you do too.”

Spanning everything from photography and illustration to poetry and design, the artistic line-up includes:

Roxanne Williams, Visual Artist and Designer

Selfcare is Key

“The spa was my sanctuary pre-Covid times, but this piece includes my alternative favourite things to get lost in and induce a sense of calm and inner peace from bath salts to tea. Drawing this piece was an uplifting boost in itself. I enjoyed the process of capturing the activities that I indulge in to realign my sense of self, good vibes and glow up.”

Ash Sketch, Artist and Illustrator

Carefree

“For me this work represents freedom, innocence and play. It’s easy to lose focus and have doubts but I think one of the real secrets to self-care is to be carefree! I wanted to get personal with the public and share this message and for people to gain some inspiration and confidence in themselves. I feel the message is more effective with a younger Ash spreading it. I mean who won’t listen to the children right? The children are the future and for all the people that have a chance to view this, know you can create a brighter future by trusting in your ideas! Whenever you feel a little down just look at your photo album and ask your younger self what are you worried about? Then take that carefree, creative energy and apply it to yourself today!”

Cam Khalid, Poet and Writer

Downer Days: a crying playlist

“2020 was a rough year for many of us – it was mad, bad and downright sad. Like many others, I was on an emotional rollercoaster ride. To check in with my mental health, I curate Spotify playlists. This became my inspiration for Downer Days: a crying playlist. Doubling as a mini playlist, the poem features rhymes mirroring that of lyrics in music. Struggling with mental health as a person of colour can feel very isolating, so I tend to listen to songs that are emotive, as if someone else is going through the same emotional ride as me. This “self-care playlist” acts as a reminder that it’s ok to listen to sad songs to alleviate sorrow.”

Lareb Naseem, Creative Content Producer

Salah / Namāz / Prayer

Salah (prayer) is self-care. It is the time within the day I and millions of other Muslims around the world take out to reconnect with our Lord Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, Arabic for “The most glorified, the most high”. Salah is a reminder to us all and to keep us in check. It’s never too late to look after yourself and prayer is definitely mine and millions of other Muslims’ forms of self-care, a check in with myself and God.”

Lynnike Swerts, Writer, Audio Producer, Presenter and Creative

Prioritising Me

Prioritising Me is an honest reflection of my thoughts and processes when I’m not feeling my best. In a fast paced, ever changing and intensely demanding world, we, as individuals are never the priority. I want these words to remind people to slow down, take a moment and acknowledge their feelings, then do whatever is necessary to bring themselves back to a good place mentally.”

Lizzie Reid, Illustrator and Designer

Play Outside

Inspired by the lockdown blues and anxiety about going outside whilst being fully aware of the uplifting benefits the fresh air and some activity would bring! This digital illustration depicts a bright yellow basketball sat on a court facing a bright blue hoop stand waiting to be played, with the clear handwritten instruction “PLAY OUTSIDE” (as opposed to the typical “no ball games” signs). The entire scene is swallowed by bright pink, making everything else non-existent. The perfect setting for a game free from distractions and anxieties.”

Ahmed Abokor, Graphic Designer and Photographer

Do less, so you can do more

This was my NYE resolution for 2020, inspired by a song called ‘Do Less’ by @drchimaanya. In a world where we are fed information every second of the day and constantly checking our phones, totally conditioned to think that we should be busier, it is so important to stop and step back. True productivity is about identifying what’s important and dedicating your valuable time to those tasks, setting limitations on your work, and forcing yourself to do less. Not only is this an efficient use of time but in turn also much better for your mental wellbeing.”

Zafeerah Heesambee, Mixed Media Artist and Founder of Paintbrush&Co

 “Your mental health matters is a mixed media piece, originally a line drawing and oil painting in response to Warsan Shire’s poem ‘The year I made peace and love right here’. As part of my project to redefine what intimacy means to me and honour self-care, this piece seeks to remind that healing and nurturing my mental health is important and integral to my inner peace.”

Nadina Ali, Graphic Designer

 “Listen To How You Feel is inspired by my personal approach to mental health. I have been using that phrase as a reminder of how important it is to be aware of how I feel on a daily basis in order to address negative feelings and stress. By using tools such as journaling and meditation, I have been able to gain a better understanding of how my feelings affect my overall wellbeing. With this artwork, I wanted to encourage people to do the same in order to improve their own wellbeing.”

The Pocc x Clear Channel Art Fund was established earlier this year to champion the work of underrepresented creatives and raise the profiles of unknown artists across the industry, with further instalments set to run throughout the rest of 2021.

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