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New art project in memory of Finn

Bid to raise awareness of mental illness after illustrator who suffered depression and psychosis took his own life

12 May, 2017 — By Jane Clinton

Finn Clark was an award-winning professional illustrator

A NEW art project is being launched to commemorate the life of a young artist who took his own life aged 25.

Finn Clark, who lived in Finsbury Park, was an award-winning professional illustrator who died following a diagnosis of depression and psychosis.

To celebrate his life and to raise awareness of mental illness, his family, together with broadcaster Libby Purves, will launch The InFinnity Project today (Friday) – the final day of mental health awareness week – at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

Ms Purves’s own son, Nicholas Heiney, committed suicide in 2006.

It is hoped that the project will increase awareness of the therapeutic benefits of art and creativity. People with experience of mental health problems can submit artwork until the end of September. A panel of professional and amateur artists will then choose a selection of pieces that will be used to create merchandise to raise money for the charity Rethink Mental Illness. The selected artwork will be announced on World Mental Health day on October 10.

The launch event will feature an art workshop and a slideshow of Finn’s work, which will provide the inspiration for this year’s competition themes. A group of artists will also respond to the themes, alongside a discussion about the work they produced.

Speaking about The InFinnity Project, journalist and radio presenter Ms Purves said: “Troubled young minds are often also creative minds, as we know from our own son Nicholas Heiney and his remarkable writings in his last years. It need not mean disaster – to contemplate the art which others have made out of their sensitivity to beauty and mystery can be a powerful bridge back to stability.

“All good art is like a hand held out by a stranger, showing that you are never quite alone.”

Mr Clark’s body was found close to the Gillespie Park and Ecology Centre in December 2015, days after friends and family launched a desperate search to find him all over north London.

Tickets for the launch are available, and for more information on the project, or to submit a piece of artwork, visit www.theinfinnityproject.uk

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