"We need to change the outlook on mental health… there's so much stigma. People said you’re just using it as an excuse … but everything starts with little steps."

Karen, Curator programme

Lady standing infront of a frame
Karen at Derek Parfit: The Philosopher in the darkroom exhibition

Karen took part in both Looking Glass programmes and Curator; she was a member of the first Curator Group, which gave a presentation at the Curve in October 2018.

“I’ve always loved to mess around with pictures – I have loads of photos of the children growing up, and always thought I could do something with that – although I use computers for basics, I had no experience with graphics before the Looking Glass programme. Once I got the hang of the processes though, they stuck. When we moved on to iPads for Curator, I had similar concerns, but I found them even easier, and a lot of fun to use.

“I was in the first Curator group – the pioneer group! The original idea was that we would work together in small groups, but we settled on a way that worked for all of us – working on our own ideas and presentations, but helping each other as we went along. Our finished book was excellent. I really loved doing the presentation at the Curve; I was mega-nervous, but using the iPad gave me confidence.

“Looking Glass was a very good course – it opened up my mind.”

“The trips to the galleries have been amazing; I love art, but I don’t know many people who are into that, so it was an opportunity to do something I love that I wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to do. The days out taking photographs were great too – being in a group is good for me, and we supported each other.

“I’m not a naturally artistic person … I like art and appreciate it when I see it, but don’t necessarily think in an artistic way. David talked about artistic vocabulary, and I didn’t see it at first, but it began to make sense to me during the second course, and now I get it.”


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