Kensal Green artist to showcase art to raise awareness of knife crime and mental health at Willesden Gallery

PUBLISHED: 15:11 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:34 15 January 2020

Hadina Wright

Hadina Wright


A Kensal Green artist is hoping to raise awareness of knife crime and mental health recovery through a group exhibition in Willesden.

Hadina Wright, who is exhibiting her art at Willesden Gallery.Hadina Wright, who is exhibiting her art at Willesden Gallery.

Hadina Wright is exhibiting her work in the Identity and Self exhibition in the Willesden Gallery, in the High Road, from January 16 to February 2 (9am to 5pm).

The exhibition in the library forms part of the Brent Borough of Culture 2020 and showcases 27 emerging and established local artists, displaying a range of work from media such as photography, glass, drawing, sculpture, printing and painting.

Hadina's Confused Queen work is taken from her experiences being stabbed by another woman and her battle and recovery from schizophrenia.

She said: "This is a real achievement for me. I'm really grateful to be exhibiting in the Willesden Gallery. I grew up in that library. To be in there now is like a dream come true."

Now 31, she said aged 14 she was "on the verge of being excluded" — from John Kelly Girls' School, now Crest Academy

"I was a problem child; I was living in a very troubled home," she said. "I was on the verge of being excluded but my teacher told me to focus on my Art and English.

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"They saved my life."

In 2007 she was stabbed in a brawl with another girl on the day she was coming home to tell her father she had received a triple distinction in her Btech art studies.

She continued to study and eventually went to university, when her father passed away in her first year .

Although she managed to graduate soon afterwards she said she started hearing voices telling her to paint and produced a "massive" volume of work which she has drawn inspiration from for this exhibition.

She spent six years in hospital with schizophrenia.

When she came out in 2017 she won a place with the Princes Trust and was given a mentor.

"My mentor's been amazing, the experience has been amazing" she said. "People are in touch with my story, learning more about my condition and I'm learning to be more open about it. I'm taking away the stigma of schizophrenia and highlighting the battle I was facing.

"Creativity is what led to my recovery. It saved my life, I woke up a new person."

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