Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


Art as mental therapy at the Zoom gallery

The therapeutic benefits of art for those with mental health issues are well known. Artistic creation has helped Nick Hill, who is exhibiting in the Zoom Arts gallery in St Leonards in the week beginning Monday 17 July, in his struggle against depression, writes Zoom Arts’ Susan Cleland.

Local artist Nick Hill was born in Newcastle and educated in France and America. He has worked mostly in the catering industry both in France and England, along with stints in forestry work and 10 years working with people with learning disabilities.

He started painting 10 years ago, as a way of fighting an ongoing struggle with depression, from which he has suffered most of his adult life. “I find the action of painting, or being artistically creative, therapeutic as well as a catalyst for self reflection, giving me the possibility to analyse myself in a positive manner,” he says.

In the past Nick has used his art to exorcise his demons, looking into themes such as mental health, child abuse, drink and drug abuse and radicalisation, subjects that he fell victim to during his misspent youth.

Clown Fish with Anemone.

Clown Fish with Anemone.

Fundraising for charity

After spending six years at art school studying for an art degree, which he felt had nearly been soul destroying, Nick has carried on working from home, creating pieces which he eventually hopes to sell to raise money for different charities. “In the past two years I have raised over £1,000 for Cystic Fibrosis and Dementia, and this year I hope to sell my work for the charity Mind, which is obviously close to me.”

He usually works around a theme, which is at present nautical subjects such as fish, boats and maritime landscapes, and despite the content of his work having mellowed into something more cheerful and uplifting, it remains colourful, humorous, and  slightly surreal.

Nick enjoys very much being a member of Zoom Arts, where he gets the chance to show his work to the public five or six times a year, and also finds it liberating to work with an unpretentious group of artists who are not entirely motivated by their own egos, sales and profiles.

His new solo show at the Zoom gallery, his third under the title One Man in a Waiting Room, will consist of mixed media pieces, old and new. He hopes to bring a smile to the viewing public – if he does, he will have achieved his goal.

One Man in a Waiting Room – 3 Mixed media exhibition by Nick Hill. Zoom Arts Gallery, St Leonards Warrior Square Station, Kings Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6HL. Daily to Saturday 22 July, 10am to 5pm.


Posted 11:14 Monday, Jul 17, 2017 In: Visual Arts

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