Bill Oddie drawings are among ‘black dog’ art show at North Walsham and Sheringham tackling stigma of mental illness

Matisse-inspired black dog by Sheringham-based artist Peter Kavanagh.

Matisse-inspired black dog by Sheringham-based artist Peter Kavanagh. - Credit: Archant

Black Dog-themed drawings and paintings by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, and comic actor turned wildlife expert Bill Oddie

Black Dog cartoons by TV and wildlife legend Bill Oddie.

Black Dog cartoons by TV and wildlife legend Bill Oddie. - Credit: Archant

feature in a two-day, twin-venue arts festival aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Bill Oddie

Bill Oddie - Credit: PA

The event, which is being organised by Norfolk-based charity Equal Lives with funding from the mental health charity Time to Change, aims to break down taboos, raise awareness of mental health issues and kick start long-term arts projects for people living in the north Norfolk area.

Art on show at The Atrium, North Walsham, this Saturday also includes work by Sunday Times cartoonist The Surreal McCoy.

Attractions will include complementary therapy taster sessions, children's events, a concert by Norwich-based group the Black Dog Music Project and singing and music workshops run by Norfolk community choir group Sing Your Heart Out.

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Festival-goers will also have a chance to take part in a 'paper people' art project and read mental health-themed poems submitted as part of a competition judged by acclaimed Norwich-based poet Martin Figura.

The competition attracted entries from as far afield as London, Wales and America, with writers including the mother of an autistic teenager, an elderly woman who underwent electric shock therapy in her early twenties and a former soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after completing a tour of Afghanistan.

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The poems will be on show alongside more than 30 pictures on the theme of Winston Churchill's 'Black Dog' of depression.

The artwork will be available for sale, with proceeds going to the national charity Rethink Mental Health.

The Festival will run at the Atrium, Spenser Avenue, North Walsham, on Saturday from 10am-3.30pm, and at Sheringham Community Centre on Holway Road on July 19 from 10am-3.30pm

To find out more about the festival, visit

To see the Black Dog-themed artwork and poems, visit

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