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Art on buses to feature as part of mental health festival

Published Wednesday, 04 October 2017

Live drawing sessions on buses by artist and mental health advocate, Liz Atkin, will form part of a two week festival in Coventry.

Scratch the surface 2017

The live charcoal drawing performance will start at 3pm tomorrow (5 October), where Liz, who has struggled with Compulsive Picking Disorder for over 25 years, will travel on various bus routes around the city to help raise awareness about the condition.

The performance is part of the ‘Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE’ festival which will bring a mix of fine art, music, literature, contemporary dance and film to venues across the city to highlight the positive effects of the arts on mental health.

Liz found that during long commutes, she would suffer from anxiety and found that drawing stopped her giving into the compulsion to pick her skin. From this she has produced her ‘Compulsive Charcoal’ series of drawings that take no longer than a minute each.

Liz said: “A friend gave me a box of charcoal sticks as a present to stave off panic attacks and keep me focused during long commutes on the London Underground. I decided to draw on a discarded free newspaper that was on a seat in a carriage beside me.

"After I posted an image of the drawing on Instagram, it garnered a lot of positive reactions. The next time I got on the Tube, I did the same thing and now it’s a thing I do wherever I am in the world.

"This led to invitations to do this at festivals and at different cities around the country and indeed, the world!’

The ‘Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE’ festival starts on 30 September and runs to 10 October.

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