Carbrain art project is a stepping stone to positive mental health

Clyde FC footballers Ray Grant (left) and Chris McStay with one of the stepping stones
Clyde FC footballers Ray Grant (left) and Chris McStay with one of the stepping stones

A new public artwork promoting mental health services has been unveiled in the Carbrain Gully.

The work, entitled Paths for Life, is made up of 40 individual stepping stones designed and created by community members.

Artist Jose Carlos Rivera (centre, bottom) with (l-r) Shazia Riaz, community coordinator in Carbrain for Corra Foundation, Jamie Hepburn MSP and Lynne MacDonald, Suicide Prevention Lead for North Lanarkshire Council

Artist Jose Carlos Rivera (centre, bottom) with (l-r) Shazia Riaz, community coordinator in Carbrain for Corra Foundation, Jamie Hepburn MSP and Lynne MacDonald, Suicide Prevention Lead for North Lanarkshire Council

Jose Carlos Rivera, an internationally-exhibited Spanish artist, was commissioned by charity Impact Arts to deliver tile-making workshops at venues in Carbrain.

It is part of a partnership between Impact Arts, Suicide Prevention North Lanarkshire and the Local Community Partnership Team.

Carbrain Gully had been identified as an area of concern for mental health by social workers in North Lanarkshire.

The project was developed by a steering group also involving social work, NHS Lanarkshire, the Corra Foundation and Carbrain & Hillcrest Community Council.

Gemma Ritchie, senior social worker and mental health officer, unveiling the first stepping stone

Gemma Ritchie, senior social worker and mental health officer, unveiling the first stepping stone

The aim of the artwork is to both raise awareness of crisis services and to create an area for reflection in nature for local people.

The 40 stepping stones feature a variety of designs, including a phoenix rising from the flames, Nordic symbols and uplifting, inspiring messages.

The work was unveiled at a launch event attended by Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn, Clyde footballers Chris McStay and Ray Grant, and dozens of Carbrain residents.

Artist Jose said: “Working with the local community has been a wonderful experience.

“It’s been an incredibly valuable way of getting local residents together to create art, reflect and learn together as a group.

“I hope that this project is a step to promoting unity in the community of Carbrain, as well as promoting good mental health and suicide prevention services.”

Mr Hepburn said: “It was great to see the artwork that has been put in place at Carbrain Gully as part of the Paths to Life project.

“Seeing the community come together to develop the artwork is a fantastic reminder not only of the powerful impact that art can have, but of the strong community spirit we have locally.”

Jenny Coxon, programme manager of Impact Arts, said: “We’re delighted by the enthusiasm the Carbrain community has shown for this project.

“As well as initiating conversations about mental health and wellbeing, we hope the artwork will make the Gully a more welcoming and inviting place for residents.”

For more information about Impact Arts visit www.impactarts.co.uk.