Health and wellbeing under the spotlight at Westside gallery

Ikon Gallery is to present a programme of exhibitions and events that engage audiences in dialogue about health and wellbeing.

The exhibitions, which run throughout June and into July, explore conversations ranging from infant feeding in public spaces to the impact of natural environments on our physical and mental health.

The programme contributes to a comprehensive evidence base to inform policy development for Birmingham City Council Public Health, such as a creative health strategy.

Artist-in-residence Sally Butcher presents Visible Bodies from 5 June to 7 July, focusing on themes of gender, care and the space of the reproductive and maternal body, through the lens of her research about experiences of infertility.

She worked with Ikon’s display of Feeding Chair (2022), a collaborative artwork which acts as a focus for sharing experiences and challenging social attitudes towards feeding and mothering.

Feeding Chair invites parents and carers to feed their young children in galleries and other public venues. Featuring artwork by artist Jade de Montserrat, the chair integrates audio and videos about infant feeding, gender and public space.

Sally said she was drawn to women’s stories that inspired the chair’s making.

“Developing this interest in sharing lived experience, I wish to create work using women’s words around fertility and infertility, not as a story-telling project but creating pieces that brings these women’s accounts together creatively in a collective telling.”

Green Spaces (2024), which runs at the Ikon in Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, from 12 – 23 June, is a showcase of photography by Birmingham-born artist Jaskirt Dhaliwal-Boora and members of the Erdington community who have explored the benefits of nature to our health.

Focusing on the impact and importance that green spaces have on mental health, the artist worked with people in Erdington to explore their personal connections to parks, gardens and urban green areas.

Jaskirt said: “Nature has a way to heal and calm the mind, the camera can be used as a tool to observe and treasure what’s around us, words can express what we feel.”

For further information, visit: www.ikon-gallery.org or call 0121 248 0708.

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