In Conversation: Sikelela Owen, Patrick Conlon and Portugal Prints Artists: D. Kongson, JL, Muru Pillai, and Neelam Synge

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In Conversation: Sikelela Owen, Patrick Conlon and Portugal Prints Artists: D. Kongson, JL, Muru Pillai, and Neelam Synge
Photo by David Bebber


Join us at the gallery for a live conversation between artists from the Portugal Prints community: D. Kongson, JL, Muru Pillai and Neelam Synge, along with recent artist in residence Sikelala Owen, as they discuss the making of the exhibition Just…As an Artist. They will be joined by Portugal Prints Manager Patrick Conlon and Ken Paranada, Zabludowicz Collection Curator performance and engagement.

The exhibition Just… As an Artist was conceptualized to create a space for exchange, acknowledging that accessing an engaged audience is a privilege not available to all artists. Although the exhibition results from many interactions, each one has been approached with care and awareness, a methodology carried through from Portugal Prints, an extraordinary and unique organization supporting people with complex mental health needs who are some of the most excluded from society.

Sikelela Owen has facilitated art workshops and worked with Portugal Prints in their Camden studio since August 2021 as their first artist in residence.

The talk is held in person at the gallery and is a chance to talk about how mental health and art making are connected. Time To Talk Day

Sikelela Owen

Sikelela Owen studied Painting at Chelsea College (2009) and then Fine Art at the Royal Academy Schools, graduating in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include Together at James Freeman Gallery, London; Supper, Sleep and Sorrow at LdM Gallery, Florence; and Love, Eat, Sleep, Repeat at HSBC Canada Place in London. In 2014 her work was included in ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’ at Beers Gallery and the Thames & Hudson Publication. In 2019 Sikelela was awarded a Fellow’s Residency at the British School at Rome, and in 2020 her work was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize.

Patrick Conlon

Patrick Conlon is the manager of Portugal Prints - a charity based in Camden that supports artists living with mental health difficulties to construct a life founded on creativity and curiosity. It is a space where art can empower people to express themselves, learn, build resilience, and nurture meaningful relationships utilizing non-clinical mental health support through the therapeutic use of art.

Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day 2022 is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op. The campaign runs UK wide, with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and See Me in Scotland, Inspire and Change Your Mind in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales.

The day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health, by talking about it we can support ourselves and others.

This year we aim to support communities up and down the country to have more mental health conversations than ever before.

This event is free, booking recommended. Fresh tea and biscuits will be available.