Ice Cream, Dancing & Theater: Canary Wharf launches workshop series for World Mental Health Day

Canary Wharf hosts a series of workshops, performances and installations throughout October to mark World Mental Health Day on Sunday 10 October.

Graphic artist The Fandangoe Kid – real name Annie Nicholson – famous for her work, which aims to shatter taboos around trauma and mental health, has curated a series of workshops and talks across the three days.

Nicholson invites Londoners to join her on The Fandangoe Whip, a hand-painted multicolored ice cream cart that serves as a safe place to hold daily workshops. The interactive installation is dedicated to helping people explore the grief, trauma and surrealism of the last two years over a friendly cone of mint chocchip. Nicolson’s work will then also be displayed in one of the retail units in Crossrail Place as part of her stay in Canary Wharf over the winter months.

Other events curated by the artist include a zine workshop to explore what the future holds, a photography session, a dance experience led by The Fandangoe Kid and an exercise in writing letters that will never be sent.

The events will be ticketed and all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Thrive LDN, a charity that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of young Londoners.

As part of the Mental Health Awareness activities, visitors can also catch a unique 15-minute theater performance by Wishbone Theater. The show follows the story of Josie, a high-flyer at work suffering from bipolar disorder. The audience will ride with Josie through the landscapes and landscapes of her mind as she navigates her disorder. Created through a collaboration with clinicians and caregivers, this show explores bipolar disorder and how an affected person can live a fulfilling life.

Additional workshops include the Holistica Breathing Circle, where visitors will be taken through a new relaxing breathing technique guided by a soothing lighting installation to help relieve stress.

Fandangoe Whip workshops
October 8-10

Ice cream for mental health
Join The Fandangoe Kid and team up for an ice cream and a chat about everything about mental health. From pandemic blues to grief -wallops to existential crises, Fandangoe Whip is a place to come and share your experiences while enjoying an ice cream or two made by East London legends A Portuguese Love Affair.

Future wishes! Zine Workshop with graphic artist Saucy Sez
Ziner for radical change and radical futures.

What do you see or want from your personal future?
What do you want to see change in the world?
What do you hope for the future?

‘Comforting corners of our city’: Workshop with the artist Coco Lom
In the words of Coco Lom: ‘Our world is full of striking patterns, bold colors and unusual shapes – and in difficult times I find solace in their confidence and regularity. They make me feel calm. During lockdown, I created a photographic series called Peaceful Patterns, where I captured the many soothing shapes, patterns, and colors that I passed on my walks. When we take the time to stop and deconstruct what we see around us, whether it is nature or architecture, then much of it is a combination of simple forms.

In this workshop, I invite you to apply with me. We start by stepping outside – looking for the quiet city details – both high and underfoot. Using the city’s shapes and patterns as inspiration, we create a series of postcards that reflect the overlooked corners of Canary Wharf. I hope you get away with a reassured mind and a new appreciation of our spectacular city. ‘

Dance as a tool for survival with The Fandangoe Kid
Join The Fandangoe Kid for an in-depth workshop on dance. What does the dance floor mean to you? How can we create more spacious spaces? How are dance and mental health related? What does movement mean to you?

Letters that will never be sent with Lara Haworth
Letters that are never sent explore writing as a tool for survival: Participants are given a chance to review some ideas and methods to use writing as a way of working through difficulties, using our own stories and lives as material.

In this workshop, participants are invited to write a letter to someone, or something that will never be sent. This can be a letter to someone who is dead or no longer in their life. It could address a year – Dear 2020 – or somewhere – Dear High School. Lara Haworth is a writer, visual artist and filmmaker. Her visual work has been exhibited internationally in venues including Yokohama, Japan, Toronto, Canada and Chemnitz, Germany. Her authorship has been published in magazines such as Visual Verse, Biography, LAKE, ACME and Nōd. Her new film, All the People I Hurt with My Wedding, was released on April 16 by She Does Filmz.

Tickets for Fandangoe Whip workshops can be purchased at Eventbrite.co.uk, where all funds are donated to Thrive LDN, a charity that aims to improve the mentality and well-being of all Londoners

Holistica Breathing Circle
1-31 October
Created by mb1 Designs, the Holistica circle is an easy installation that teaches users breathing techniques to help with relaxation and stress relief. It uses the ‘4-7-8 count’ breathing technique using gentle movement of light to guide users to focus on taking long, deep breaths in and out.

Mountain High Valley Low
October 5-9
Mountain High Valley Low from Wishbone Theater is the story of Josie, a woman who is looking for love but has a secret to hide. Josie is suffering from bipolar disorder. Her answer is to take long distance cycling and dating. Things may not go exactly according to plan …

The play is free to attend with tickets available at https://www.seetickets.com/tour/mountain-high-valley-low.

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