Eleven London Nights

A selection of excerpts from the Mind participant artists working with Sarah Woodfine on When the Night Draws In

Although I have previously taught and led artistic workshops, this is the first time I have shared the creative process with others to produce new work. My work centres on drawing through which I invent unsettling worlds that lie between the familiar and the fantastical. As I draw, elements from childhood, fairy tales, films and other found imagery infiltrate the work creating layers of reference which are reflected in the intensity of my process. I use the play between two and three-dimensionality as a way to displace images in time and space, and engage viewers in an intriguing puzzle on perception. By drawing these wood-grain frames, I was able to contribute visually to the works in a way that would add to their mystery and ambiguity, without compromising their individuality. Within the frames, these worlds become pictures that seem traditional yet somehow unreal. — Sarah Woodfine


With thanks to Mark Barnes, Amanda Bedford and Manuela Calero for their participation in the project.

Katie Swaden, Haunted Forest, 2006

Because of an incident in the past, I don’t enjoy walking in the woods at night. It appears to me that there are all these curious and dangerous creatures in there, especially the trees themselves. It feels like the trees can move and grab you at night enclosing you in their strong pliable branches, allowing the creatures to touch you. You can easily get lost both physically and mentally. When the moon shines on the trees it gets really scary, glittering darkly in the dank dark night. — Katie Swaden

Raymond Derzko, Dracula’s Castle (Raymond’s Castle), 2006

Making this castle has given me satisfaction because I made it. It is mostly Dracula’s castle! When I started making this, I cut and folded pieces of paper around each other for the mountain and inserted a folded ball of big paper under it. I assembled the castle on the mountain itself out of boxes and cylinders with hand-drawn windows, doors and walls. I am looking forward to seeing our work printed in books. Haunting! — Raymond Derzko

Gary Burke, Cat Walking in the Moonlit Road, 2006

The piece I have made is of a road at night where a cat is walking past a tree under a cloudy moon. I have never made work like this before. I normally make flat drawings but these are often of animals, like the cat in this work. I wouldn’t have thought about making something like this before but I think I may try it again in the future on my own or as part of the art group I go to. — Gary Burke

Anita Tew, Darkness, 2006

This represents my path through life -- darkness. The person in the boat is me. As I passed under the bridge for what I thought was the last time, I became involved in this project. It has given me the hope and will to carry on because the people here believed in me. — Anita Tew

Terry Robinson. Country Scene, 2006

This is a peaceful country scene. I’ve not done this kind of work before. It makes me feel I’d like to do more. I’m surprised at what you can do with black and white paper, pencils and scissors. — Terry Robinson

Mike Hawthorne, Stormy Sea, 2006

As soon as I saw the leaflet announcing Sarah’s project, with its insistence on drawing in monochrome and working from the imagination, I was anxious to join the project. I sensed a kindred spirit. This work is about spending sleepless nights thinking over the difficulties involved in seeing a girlfriend who lives on the other side of the world. I’ve made it very melodramatic and over the top, partly in order to see it in a humorous light and to deal with it more objectively. —  Mike Hawthorne

Edward Rowell, Planetarium -- Makes Way for Celebrities, 2006

I got involved with the Artangel project because people with mental health problems are subject to financial cuts in service on an annual basis. The artwork produced shows just what can be achieved with encouragement and commitment. For me, the Planetarium was a very interesting and educational venue in London. So they shut it. The eye represents a beautiful window on the world and the man alone stands in awe of the universe. — Edward Rowell

Troy Snowball, Circles and Trees, 2006

The overall idea of this piece of artwork is to bring different elements to life, depicting nightlife for enthusiastic art lovers! It should stand out from other art pieces giving each artist space. Allow your eyes to follow through my 3-D mind-state. The project itself had an oblique turn around and was an enjoyable ride throughout. — Troy Snowball 

Helen D’Silva, Peace at Night, 2006

I like my project with the two bolts of lightning, the angry moon and a tree at night. It means a great deal to me because these things are all at peace at night. The church represents a safe place while a peacock walks alone in the night. The candle suggests a religious side of the night. —  Helen D’Silva

Fozia Khan, Glittering Spirit, 2006

People with mental health problems are often excluded. They should be recognised and supported by others. Religion and faith help me look at the positive side of the problems. The work I’ve done represents the sanctuary I find in the mosque. I’ve created this piece with a sky full of fireworks, stars and a glittering moon. The buildings, shaped like mosques, create intricate frontiers with the silver trees. I love creating patterns and designs, although these often start from simple doodles. —  Fozia Khan

Corinne Aldous, The Reality of London Nightlife, 2006

I thought taking part in this project would boost my confidence and give me the chance to surprise myself. I wanted a challenge and to see what I’m capable of -- if I could achieve and be successful in what I chose to do. This has shown me that maybe I am capable of studying at college, learning life skills or studying new subjects in general. It’s been an enjoyable journey and I feel I have widened my personal horizons. —  Corinne Aldous