Space 22 is a new six-part documentary series that explores the impact art and creativity can have on mental health.

Led by performer Natalie Bassingthwaighte, who has faced her own mental health challenges, the series follows seven strangers, each with their own lived experience of mental ill-health, as they take part in an ambitious experiment to test if the simple act of creativity can help heal invisible wounds.

Supported by psychotherapist Noula Diamantopoulos, the participants will be joined by three well-known Australian artists – mixed media artist, Abdul Abdulla, sets a first challenge designed to expose the group’s vulnerabilities; Archibald winner Wendy Sharpe offers a new way to express confronting emotions through painting; and performer Eddie Perfect brings his unique skills to help participants express their thoughts and release pent-up emotions through song writing and singing. Observing the group from a distance, researchers from the Black Dog Institute measure the mental and social impact of each challenge.

Space 22 is an original BBC Studios ANZ production for the ABC. Executive producing for BBC Studios are Kylie Washington, Anita Jorgensen, and Ariel White while Bev Shroot is BBC Studios series producer. Also involved are ABC commissioning editor Julie Hanna and ABC head of factual and culture, Jen Collins. The series, which is distributed by BBC Studios, will premiere Tuesday, May 17 at 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

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2 Comments

  1. As the parent and carer of a son with mental health problems this show excites me as I have witnessed art as therapy in NSW mental health hospitals. This in-depth look into the challenges that people with mental health problems face everyday is such a great step forward into a better understanding for the general public that may not know the struggles that people face everyday. AWARENESS is the key to understanding and accepting. Looking forward to this 6 part documentary.

  2. Hi, I think it’s great that we finally recognise that really we all have issues. There are people in the business that are teaching art therapy, music and pottery, fine arts.
    I have been so fortunate to have done this course. They are called Creative Expressions in Perth. Their input has been life changing. Not only are you allowed to express yourself and at the same time if the past comes up.. that I have ‘sat’ on for years, has been very healing. If something comes up, you can leave whatever you are doing and can talk about it outside of the class.
    This course is in Perth and they quietly help everyday. Finally through this I have discovered that my traumatic past not only
    am I a surviver, I am very strong! I’ve learnt to write songs, and I’ve only used to do just ‘covers’ previously. I sang at Mental Health week. I haven’t sung in years. When I finished I couldn’t believe people thanking me and a lady
    told me I gave her goose bumps which I always feel that reaction is good.
    I’ve also have had the pleasure to work one on one with my Case Manager, Barbara Watson.
    She has helped me so much, I will always be forever in her debt. She is quite remarkable and wise and empathitic. These people have done Fine Arts and a Masters degree, particularly Art Therapy.
    It would be wonderful if you did a ‘piece’ of the work that they do. What you have discovered, of course that being creative taps into deep stuff.You learn to accept through drawing/music/
    Pottery.
    It’s also a fun way due to the fact you are releasing the past, which has ‘stumped’ you for being your best self.
    I feel so grateful, it is a unique course and there is nothing like it!!
    Thank you for doing this. It is honest and refreshing that it is on TV. The Abc rocks. Thsnk you.
    Cecily

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