Adam Ant today unveiled a new Black Dog sculpture for which he’d designed the coat, as part of SANE’s latest campaign to raise awareness of depression and other mental illness. The pop star took time out from his tour with The Good The Mad and the Lovely Posse to come to Island Gardens park on the Isle of Dogs for the event. The dog is one of several produced for mental health charity SANE and located across the capital with a further two also in Tower Hamlets. The dog has been sponsored by psychotherapist and author Anna Albright and her clinical colleagues. Black dogs have been used as a metaphor for depression through the ages with the term popularised by Sir Winston Churchill to describe his darker moods.
“The inspiration for my design was the Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, where people go to see where actors have put their hands in concrete, that was the influence for me, I like the tactile quality of my design and i wanted it to be bright and something that would help represent feeling good when you’re feeling down or if you’re in a period of depression.
“The handprints are covered in words like ‘hope’, ‘faith’ and ‘serenity’ I wanted it to be simple so that younger children can appreciate it and interact with it. I think the SANE black Dog campaign is an amazing project to be involved in.
“It seems to me in school there is certainly instruction and talks about pretty much every subject that young people need to know about in their life, it would be nice if there was also instruction on mental health so children know that if they’re going through difficult feelings it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong and they don’t just need to be sent to the doctor and given antidepressants.” Adam Ant said.
At the end of the campaign, the dog sculptures will either be auctioned off or donated to schools. Marjorie Wallace CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of SANE says, “It can be easier to say that we are having a Black Dog day, or that the Black dog is on our shoulder, when we want to express painful moods and thoughts that are difficult to communicate. We hope that people will find a new language to convey inner feelings like anxiety, depression and loneliness.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said of the campaign, “Depression affects many people and can blight lives. In the UK alone one in five people suffer from depression. It is important for people to access help and I fully support the campaign by SANE to reduce the stigma attached to depression.”
For more information please contact Sara Zmertych at SANE Media department on 020 7422 5564 or 020 7422 5556