The festival gets underway next week! One of the first events is a month-long exhibition at the Hearth Gallery, in Llandough Hospital.
We've interviewed Glyn Brimacombe, one of the artists to feature in the exhibition which runs for the whole of October....
Could you tell us a bit about your work - its style, where the ideas and inspiration come from and why you work in this way?
I paint fluid acrylic abstracts (among other things) I use UV paint in my work to add extra dimension to the paintings in an attempt to express what I can't with words, this is the only way I have found that works for me. Everyone sees something different in my paintings, there is always something new to find, especially under UV light.They are meant to be explored and inspected up close, and while you're doing that your mind is distracted and gets a rest for a while, a chance to hit the 'reset' button. Creating these and exploring them is my therapy, and quite personal, as what you see is 'me'.
How did you get into art?
A - I grew up drawing etc, but returned to painting a couple of years ago after a long break in the hope that it would do me some good, and it has.
What sort of experiences have you had since you started exhibiting your work?
I never thought I would or even could exhibit my paintings, I had no confidence at all. Then I met Mark Smith of Making Minds and he and his team of volunteers really made things happen. Within a couple of weeks I was showing some of my work at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, and that was just the start. Without Mark, Sara and Terri I could never have done any of this, the support and understanding they have shown me has opened up a whole new world to me, and given me a reason to believe in myself a bit more.
What does it mean to have work included in the Welsh mental health arts festival?
I feel very proud and honoured to be a part of this festival, and I hope it will encourage others to reach out and find support.
Why do you think it's important for Wales to have a festival like this?
Wales was the only part of the UK not to have one and I think we needed one to help raise awareness of mental health issues, and also to show people suffering with mental health issues that there are people that can help and advise you. The exchanges of ideas and information, the networking and the mutual help and support can only be a good thing, and will benefit many who feel isolated in their illness.
What would your advice be to other artists that are experiencing / have experienced mental ill health?
My advice would be to create whatever makes you feel good about yourself.