22 May 2018

Young people’s mental health creative arts project at Tate Liverpool.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has unveiled a new creative arts project at Tate Liverpool, that explores young people’s thoughts and feelings in relation to mental health in education.

Coordinated by CAMHS partner, Merseyside Youth Association and inspired by a recent government consultation that addresses the transformation of children and young people’s mental health, The Shape of My Mind is the culmination of a project that brings together young people from across the city, taking them on a journey of self-reflection. The group have collaborated on sculptures that represent these reflections on education through 3D drawings of abstract shapes. The sculptures have been arranged in the space to take the visitor on their own journey from negative current experiences to more positive experiences that the young people hope see in the future.

The Shape of My Mind forms part of Tate Liverpool’s Tate Exchange programme.  Tate Exchange is a space at the heart of the gallery’s collection display for an ongoing programme of events developed by artists, practitioners, and associates from Tate and beyond. It is a place where everyone is invited to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life, through art.

Describing the project, Mental Health Promotion Worker at Merseyside Youth Association, Leigh Horner, said: “Over the last two months it’s been fantastic to work with these young people and give them the opportunity to actively engage with a creative arts project about something that’s so important to them, and affects us all.

“The results are amazing, and I’m very proud of the hard work and commitment that’s gone into making this project a reality.”

The young people involved attended a four-week course called ‘Spring to’ developed by William Thompson, during which they explored what was unique about them as individuals. Over subsequent weeks, they then engaged in a series of five workshops facilitated by artist, Julie Mitchell using their own reflections and experiences of mental health in education, both positive and negative, to create a 3D artistic sculpture representing what mental health and education means and looks like to them.

Dr Deborah Riding, Programme Manager: Children and Young People, Tate Liverpool said: “It is fantastic to have Merseyside Youth Association as one of our Tate Exchange partners. By sharing this project in the gallery, young people themselves are leading debate with the public about this issue. They have taken up the platform so enthusiastically, creating a reflective and powerful space where their voices are at the centre of the conversations about young people’s mental health.

The Shape of My Mind is on display at Tate Liverpool in the Albert Dock until June 3.


As a qualified teacher of 26 years standing, Julie has worked in over 100 schools, first as a general primary teacher and then as an artist-teacher. Her work with children has been exhibited at London’s National Gallery, Tate Liverpool, and the Salford Lowry. She is currently a lead practitioner for IGNITE (a National Teaching School) in Art and Design and Design Technology. IGNITE, at St. Bernard’s R.C. Primary School, Ellesmere Port, is the lead school in the largest teaching school alliance in the northwest of England (OFSTED Outstanding, with its University of Chester partner).

In 2016 Julie was awarded a ‘SLiCE’ research fellowship with the Arts Council’s northwest bridge organisation Curious Minds (‘SLiCE’ – ‘Specialist Leader in Cultural Education’).

William Thompson is a life coach