Arts/Events - Dr. Phil's Health Revolution at the Arts Centre & Between Things at The Minories

We can hardly keep up with all the amazing stuff going on in Colchester lately! So much so, we’ve had to combine two fantastic events into one bonus blog (and on the day of rest too… ah, well, eternity in hell was pretty much a certainty anyway!)

Get a health check with a difference this Thursday, April 13th at the Arts Centre. Dr. Phil Hammond comes to Colchester with his funny, thought-provoking and extremely topical show, Dr. Phil’s Health Revolution.  (That’s the English Dr. Phil, not the big, bald Texan guy who says things like, “Well, you’re just meaner than a junkyard dog, ain’t ya?”)

Described by the Guardian as “one of the most entertainingly subversive people on the planet”, our Phil is an NHS doctor, BBC broadcaster, Private Eye journalist, activist and whistle-blowing comic and his tour is all about the subjects he is passionate about; living well, staying sane, dying with dignity and saving the NHS.

In the first half, Phil ponders how he has apparently managed to remain sane (or managed to remain apparently sane?) in a family with a strong history of depression and suicide. Is he lucky, ignorant or just yet to be diagnosed? He also discusses the case for both resisting and assisting suicide. Is it possible not to kill yourself before your time, yet die gently when your time comes? Big questions that Dr. Phil treats with both poignancy and positivity.

In the second half, Phil sets about saving the NHS. Our most prized public service, he argues, is being reduced to a business opportunity to trap the elderly and worried well.  Services are being starved of funds, run down and sold off. It’s time for a bidet revolution - from the bottom up. Ditch the market, cherish the carers, support the junior doctors, fund the frontline, avoid the harm, stop the waste, kill the fear, tell the truth, inspire, collaborate, recover, laugh, love, shout and reclaim our NHS. Are you in? If so we’ll see you on Thursday at the Arts Centre – details and booking here.

Then on Saturday, 15th April we look forward to seeing you at The Minories for the preview of their new exhibition Between Things from 2 – 6pm. Full of works that cross boundaries between arts, craft and design, this is a collaboration between artists who work in mediums as diverse as yarn and wool, reconfigured bicycle seats and reclaimed furniture, silk sheets and handmade papers.

The exhibition is presented as a series of ‘scenes’ – areas and spaces have been created that proposes connections between certain groups of works, and points out some of the decorative elements that link them to interior design and domestic spaces. It also provides the opportunity for changing moods and intensities to take place through the exhibition, as if passing through a series of environments or states of being. 

The diverse group of artists - including Ben Coode-Adams and Freddie Robins from Essex, and Clare Iles, living and working in Colchester - are united in their playful approach to the making of their works. The exhibition challenges standard gallery staging and presentation, combining methods that include the overlaying of works and using display techniques that might more commonly be found in museums or retail outlets. This approach creates structures and divides to control the path of the viewer, and devises unique ways to present the works and engage the audience with them.

Running until June 10th and free to view, Between Things promises to be an exhibition that shakes up preconceptions and encourages us to look at the work as a total environment. Meet you there? We’ll be the ones with our heads cocked to one side in front of the knitted replicants of the skin of a human body!