Studio Upstairs is a working arts community. It is a place for people to express their talents through the arts who for reasons of mental health difficulties or emotional distress, choose not to participate in traditional arts institutions.
The Studio has grown from gaps in the services that were identified by art therapists and has been supported by the members in their common desire to be a part of something creative and human.
The Studio exists to provide artistic resources and therapeutic support to people experiencing mental and emotional distress and to those in drug and alcohol recovery.
The majority of Studio members are people who have not found sufficient support within the mainstream health services. The Studio specialises in enabling an individual to become autonomous. It is a place where people can start to shed definitions, diagnoses and challenge the associated stigma. It is a place where people can choose to develop relationships and with informed facilitation can determine how they use the studio. They can create and use art as a catalyst for personal and social change.
The studio grants a safe social space where, in the medium to longer term, members can experience a sense of belonging. To be part of the community involves commitment and for commitment to happen people need to develop a sense of purpose to themselves, others and the Studio. Members learn to develop their own structures within the open plan and fluid approach that the studio provides which essentially leads to autonomy of the individual.