Tamsin Griffiths and Paul Whittaker are cross disciplinary artists with a Mental Health (MH) diagnosis, based in Cardiff. We create participatory interactive projects that blur the boundaries of art-forms and challenge perceptions about MH, through form and content. Working in collaboration, we merge our expertise from the worlds of visual arts, theatre, sound, the written word, film, dance and physical performance.
We have collaborated and shared practice on many projects, using our multiple skills to best convey a story. We also utilise our skills and creativity to create training materials and deliver public messages for clients including Public Health Wales.
As artists who work in Public Health, we know how important it is to gather the experiences and thoughts of those with lived experience to underpin the creative output. To this end, our practice follows that of the iterative design process. Our quality was recognised by ACW who deemed our theatre production, Gods & Kings, as Best Practice in their Arts and Health in Wales: A Mapping study of current activity - Volume 1: Analysis, findings and proposals January 2018.
We sit on numerous advisory panels and are working with Public Health Wales and 1000 Lives to consult on the improvement of Mental Health services across Wales.
As Service Users we believe in equality for all, justice, empathy, compassion, positivity, collaboration and robust discourse. We have worked with MH Service Users, Adult & Child Disability Groups, Asylum Seekers & Refugees, Street Based Drug Users, Dementia and Vulnerable Children. We have a duty of care for every member of society regardless of gender, sexuality, income, race, religion or age.
As established multi-disciplined artists and service users we can contribute passion, skill, commitment, personal experience, professionalism, conceptual thinking, problem solving, our reputations, contacts and a fresh approach.
Our clients include: Public Health Wales, Sherman Cymru, NHS Cymru, WMC, Llandough Hospital, ACW, Hafan y Coed, Unlimited, Mind Cymru, Riverfront Arts, The National Centre for Mental Health, Literature Wales, Welsh Government, Rubicon Dance, the Schools Service and Universities.
Tamsin Griffiths is a bilingual cross disciplinary artists with a Mental Health (MH) diagnosis, who creates participatory interactive projects that blur the boundaries of art-forms and challenge perceptions about health and mental health, through form and content. Tamsin uses her skills and experience in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts & Sound to create and perform topical work that questions and challenges perceptions, particularly around the subject of MH.
Tamsin has created and performed her work Nationally and internationally, including the physical theatre / dance piece ‘Duvet Cover.’ Collaboration is integral to Tamsin’s practice and in 2020 she exhibited her first Visual Arts exhibition along side Paul Whittaker in the Hearth Gallery, Llandough Hospital: Is it Science or Art? - A Multimedia visual art exhibition which asks the question; Is Psychiatry a Science or an Art? The exhibition led to organised discussions with hospital staff who credited the exhibition with changing their patient practice for the better.
‘3 Words’ is an Avant-Garde arts ﬁlm co - created and performed by Tamsin. It explores the eﬀect of being asked to describe yourself in three words has on a woman with a MH diagnosis. This ﬁlm toured nationally to art venues across Wales in ‘On The Edge’ Festival & Internationally to Nigeria.
In 2019 Tamsin Co - Directed the critically acclaimed National touring: ‘Gods & Kings.’ Along side Paul Whittaker, she hosted post-show conversations after every performance related to MH to gather qualitative & quantitative data that was fed back to both Public Health Wales and Arts Council Wales (ACW). The play was published by Oberon Books including supporting MH material in association with National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH).
In 2020 Cardiff & Vale Health Board (CAVHB) engaged Tamsin in an Arts & Health project, supported by ACW:
‘Human Kind-ness.’ The purpose of the project was to learn how to adapt practice to meet the needs of cystic fibrosis patients in the hospital and in the community so that they can access the arts; as well as exploring and developing ways to fit appropriate arts activity within the operations of the Hospital wards.
In 2019 Tamsin underwent training to become a Registered NHS Arts & Health Artists for CAVHB.
Tamsin’s work has been shared with the Arts & Health Sectors in several industry presentations, including the 2020 NHS Confederation National Conference. She also acts as a consultant for the Arts, Education & Health Sectors; including: ACW, Unlimited, Public Health Wales, NHS Cymru, CAVHB, NCMH, Cardiff University, The Wallich, Wales Millennium Centre etc.
Paul Whittaker is an artist, writer and filmmaker. As well as working with many clients including Rubicon Dance, Arts Council Wales, Sherman Cymru, Channel 4, Public Health Wales and the Old Vic, Paul creates his own work. He wrote and co- directed his autobiographical play - Gods & Kings – to critical acclaim and had his first solo art exhibition at the Hearth Gallery - miscellaneous RULES.
His table top installation, Discombobulation and Three Words – a collaborative film made with Tamsin Griffiths - toured Welsh Galleries as part Disability Art Cymru’s exhibition. His film my mental illness & me was exhibited in the Mission Gallery, Swansea. His video installation, Institutional Blue, has been exhibited at: The Attic Gallery Space, The National Centre for Mental Health pop up exhibition and The Hearth Gallery.
Since graduating from Newport Film School in 1997 Paul has worked on over a hundred commercial and non-commercial film projects as a freelance Writer / Director. His work has been screened on television, at festivals, in art galleries and theatres. His work for Public Health Wales has been viewed both nationally and internationally online.
In 2015 Paul completed his MA in Creative Writing at Swansea University with a Distinction Grade. His autobiographical play Gods & Kings has been published by Oberon Books.
Paul is a Registered NHS Arts & Health Artists for CAVHB.
Paul is currently a trustee of Rubicon Dance.