Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Two weeks have passed since the wonderful night of The Georgie Project at The Griffin Gallery, Winsor and Newton HQ in Notting Hill.  I am still making up for the weeks of stress leading up to the event but it was certainly worth it.  The night was a great success.  Over 250 people came, every work has now been sold, and we have raised over £23,000 profit for the Creative Therapies Fund for Mind.  Hoon Young Kim set the tone of the evening with his soulful guitar tunes  and powerful voice.  La Piccola Deli and Lea and Sandeman ensured everyone was well fed and watered.  Richard Dyer, poet, artist, critic, harmonica player, successfully hushed the entire room with his dramatic recital of the text written by all 27 artists to accompany their works.  Scott Roworth of Sotheby's did a truly admirable job of keeping the tempo high and auctioning the art for significantly higher sums than predicted for most pieces.  And then it was Rusty Egan's turn to lighten the tone and blast us all with music that took me right back to the golden period of the 90s when we were (relatively) footloose and fancy free.

It would have been my sister's 36th birthday yesterday.  A sad day because I will never stop missing her but also an uplifting one because the project in her honour has finally happened.  It will help many others who find themselves in the same boat as she was but with a bit of hope, luck, and opportunities created by organizations such as the Creative Therapies fund, they will navigate their way through their challenges and improve the quality of their lives enough to keep the fire burning in their souls.

I will look into running the project again over the next couple of years so keep checking the blog for updates.

Thanks so much to the great number of you that helped to get the project off the ground, keeping my spirits raised and blessing the purse of Mind with so much money!


Monday, 26 November 2012

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Day 13

Al Braithwaite

Press Release


Press Release

On 4th December 2012 The Georgie Project will hold its inaugural event at Winsor and Newton’s Notting Hill headquarters, The Griffin Gallery.   It is an impressive new contemporary art space that champions emerging artists, hosting Matt Roberts’ Salon Art Prize 2012 two days after our show.  This makes it the perfect venue for such a night.  There will be an art auction run by Sotheby’s, and a performance by Richard Dyer, poet, artist and highly acclaimed art critic, together with live music by young singer songwriter Hoon Young Kim and DJ Rusty Egan, longtime collaborator with Midge Ure.  International Wine Challenge merchant of the year, Lea and Sandeman, are sponsoring the event with homemade Italian delicacies courtesy of boutique company, Olive.

The project was inspired by artist, Natasha Morland’s, desire to celebrate her sister, Georgia Morland, whose sunny disposition lost out in the battle with bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol dependencies resulting in suicide in 2004. The project also aims to ask questions about links between creative minds and mental illness.  Artist Stuart Semple set up the Creative Therapies Fund at Mind, the largest mental health charity in the UK and the one chosen by Stephen Fry to represent as president.  This is where funds raised by the event will be allocated.  The question over whether an artistic temperament makes a person more vulnerable to mental illness is not easily answered without further research.  However it has been proven that therapy for those who struggle, using art and drama, is often the most effective. 

The project takes the following format:  27 artworks with a storyline attached, have been made by 27 artists, in a similar way to the parlour games of Consequences and Exquisite Corpse, whereby each artist has written part of a story together with producing a related image, before selecting another artist they know to respond to their work with a new image and further text.  The result is a fantastical, absurd sequence of works and accompanying story.  The number of artists was chosen because, Georgia, alongside numerous creative such as Jimi Hendrix, Jean Michel Basquiat and Janis Joplin died at 27 years old.  This is the age one is anecdotally most likely to die in a self destructive way.  The collaborative aspect of the project hints in a simple way at the possible benefit to artists working together as opposed to struggling in isolation.  An accompanying book to the show also continues this theme in the questions answered by a number of the artists in regards to their personal views on links between creative minds and mental illness.  A preface has been written by Stuart Semple, and introduction by Natasha Morland, alongside images of all the artworks and storyline.  All profits raised by book sales will also go to Mind.

Many of the participating artists attended the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths, the Slade and City and Guild of London Art School.  Their careers span from new graduates such as rising star, George Little, part of this year’s Liverpool Biennale and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, to Annabel Emson whose work is in the Saatchi collection and Patrick Hughes, a household name, whose paintings are found in major collections around the world and is the inventor of the optical illusion painting, “reverspective”.

A few words from Natasha Morland on the event:
 “I started the project chiefly because I felt compelled to create something that would embody the spirit of my sister, Georgie, who took her life in 2004 at 27 years old,  in a celebratory way.  The images and text created for the show seem to embody both extremes of her strong character, the dark and the light.  December was Georgie’s birthday and is also a month of extremes.  Those of us lucky enough to have friends, family, cause for joy, and a bit of money in our pockets, have just reason to don our party hats and crack open the bubbly.  However the festive season also highlights the lack that so many people have, often causing those who are looking over the precipice to jump.  So, please do spare a thought for all the people less fortunate than us and equally those amongst us who are forced to smile at this time of year but are silently suffering inside.  If you are unable to come, then do lend your support by buying a book, an artwork, or giving something to Mind. “  

Natasha Morland (born 1973) received her BA from City and Guilds of London Art School in 2007 with first class honours. Since then she has exhibited in London at Transition Gallery, SPACE for its 40th Anniversary show, the RCA, and The Soane Museum amongst others. Her work is featured in the book, "Garden Painters: 21 Contemporary Artists" by Ariel Luke, published by A&C Black 2008. She received a Skinners' Company Phillip Connard Travel Award in 2005 and has been shortlisted for the Celeste Painting prize in 2010. Morland
has accepted a residency with Matt Roberts Arts’ ALAS gallery, London in 2013.

For more information and images please contact:
Jessica Bannister
Or see

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Friday, 16 November 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

27 Artists, 27 days to go...

We have reached the 27 day mark, an unusual mile stone for most events, but with 27 artists we thought it apt to start the count down by posting one of the works here every day, taking us to the 4th December.

I'm afraid you will have to wait until the event to see the accompanying texts, we wouldn't want to give it all away!

Day 1: Holly Frean

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Full House

With only a month to go until the event, things are moving fast. Since the last post we have received the final painting from artist number 27 and have signed off The Georgie Project book. With the preface written by the wonderful artist and curator Stuart Semple, it will have images of all of the artworks and artists as well as the answers to a set of questions that the artists have contributed, exploring creative minds and mental health.

It will be on sale on the 4th December.

The line up for the night is hotting up: We are very excited to announce that artist and poet extraordinaire Richard Dyer will be performing for us at the Gallery. We will also welcome singer songwriter Hoon Young Kim with his guitar and beautiful vocals. This will be followed by renowned DJ, Rusty Egan to send you home with your toes tapping.

We will start to post images of some of the art works here soon so keep an eye out to catch the first glimpse!

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Artist number twenty five

Thrilling news.  We have a date and a place for the Georgie Project show.  The Griffin Gallery will be hosting the it on 4th December and we have an auctioneer from Sotheby's willing to come on board.  The space is part of Winsor and Newton HQ, next to the Louise T Blouin institute and Mario Testino's office, in a tucked away section of Notting Hill.  They champion emerging artists and will also be hosting Matt Roberts Arts' 2012 Salon Art Prize in December so we are in good company.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

meeting of the MINDs

Artist number three

I am happy to report that MIND charity will be the recipients of funds raised through sales of the works from the show.  Having discussed options with them, they have agreed to allocate 50% of proceeds to their Creative Therapies Fund which feels relevant to the inspiration for this project; Georgie found herself more than once in psychiatric wards and would turn to art to help her through those times.  Her endeavors were self initiated.  Had she been offered the chance to work through her struggles in a guided therapeutic environment using art, she may well have benefited further.

The venue has still to be decided but now that the charity is confirmed,  the rest should fall into place more quickly.  There is  a new person on board to help with the project.  George Little has recently graduated from the RCA and aside from making strange (in a good way) paintings, he is about to cycle to Denmark and back for the hell of it.  A touch of insanity is all that is required for the job so he's hired.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

final stretch

artist number sixteen

"Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box,"  
Fredrik Ullén, of the Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm.

I stumbled across this fantastic quote whilst reading on the web about links between creativity and mental disorders, of which there are too many to ignore.

Four more artists to go and we have reached the target of 27.  It is now time to smarten up the blog, hang off the coat tails of social networking (of which I have yet to grasp) and launch a campaign to organize an exhibition and book for this December.  

Feel free to contact me if you want to get involved.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

21 and counting

The erratic blogging style is more a reflection on my personal life rather than the progress of the project I am happy to report.  Since the last entry, 5 more artists have participated, taking the  number to 21.  There have been giant peas on trees, technicolour forests, fountains and ten pence moons.

I intend to ask questions to each of the artists involved about their views regarding art making and the unquiet mind.  Does an art practice irritate or relieve symptoms of mental illness?  Or both?

After a hiatus period of focusing on my own art practice whilst fiddling about on a ukelele in between the humdrum of mothering small children, I have discovered how closely linked this project is with my own working process.  Freeform stories, always teetering on the edge of nonsense and only finding salvation in the tenuous threads lurking beneath the images that hint of a more substantial meaning.