Rethink Your Mind 2015 WINNER!!
If you haven't heard of this competition before, where have you been?!
Rethink Your Mind is a not for profit charity, set up around 2012 in order to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. Their project set out to find the best positive images through photography and art and poems to form the ground breaking Yellow Book.
The Yellow Book is filled with the winning poems and art works/photographs, as well as wellbeing material and information from the likes of the NHS Confederation MHN and the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, which is distributed nationwide as an aide to help those suffering with mental health issues.
In addition, some of the winning poems and artworks are also selected to become music singles by talented musicians, such as, Mark Morriss and Lucy Ward.
When I first came across this competition, it was on the facebook fan page of my art idol, Gary Hodges, who I have worshipped since I was a 15 year old art student, gawping in awe at his jaw droppingly beautiful graphite wildlife art. He is the person I blame for stirring that obsession I now have for wildlife art and portraiture and was also the head judge of the art competition.
I found it so easy to enter, just by uploading a couple of my pictures, that I felt best fitted the brief "I feel better when I am...". I added my name and email address and that was it, I thought nothing more of it. In fact, it pains me to say, I had completely forgotten I'd entered it!
Then, in April, I got an email out of the blue from the Rethink Your Mind team, informing me that I had been successful in being chosen as one of the 24 winners of the art competition and I had won a copy of The Yellow Book with my artwork published within it, and a place at the prize giving presentation, at the House of Lords!
I'm embarrassed to say that the cynic in me thought this was junk mail at first, until I realised, they had specifically referred to my artwork! How could they have known, this must be real, oh - my - god!
And now, after weeks of having to keep it to myself (not very successfully, I might add!) I am finally able to shout it from the roof tops, that my picture, of my beautiful children holding hands will be in The Yellow Book 2015 and will, in some way I hope, be of help to someone who needs it. Not only that, but when the news of the winners was released, Stephen Fry congratulated all of us on Twitter, which has put me firmly on cloud 9 for the rest of the year and beyond.
I urge you all, artists, photographers, poets, to check out the Rethink Your Mind website www.rethinkyourmind.co.uk and learn more about the project, share it on social media and generally make a big fuss. This is a fantastic project and I am so proud to be part of it.