HATS OFF, RUN FREE, OUR FAVOURITE PLACE

Danielle Chappell Aspinwall

Danielle’s fun interventions encourage conversation around mental health and her own creative neurodivergent motherhood journey. Respecting nature and hoping to inspire landfill reduction, she aims to lift spirits and help people feel connected.

A colour photograph from a video showing two children running towards the beach through grass sand dunes.
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A black and white hand drawing of two children running down a path towards the beach. The drawing is within a cloud thought bubble illustration.
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A photograph of a smiling woman's face in the dark
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This series of three films presents a journey to recovery from post-natal depression through placemaking, child-led play, art, and nature…Rebirthing identity through grounding in mother nature: fun, creative, play and memory. Hats Off, Run Free is a celebration, a liberation through determination that demonstrates that being a mother and a practising artist can work harmoniously if you find a way to work with and around children. The artwork’s title is inspired by a quote from eco-feminist Betsy Damon.

Hats Off, Run Free, Our Favourite Place charts Danielle’s journey through motherhood, post-natal depression and the experience of being neurodivergent. Many people experience a loss of identity after motherhood, that is difficult to regain without the support of loved ones — support that is made more distant in pandemic living conditions. The piece pushes for an appreciation of the here and now, an approach that can break the isolating spell of lockdown living.

In the face of mass isolation, Danielle looks to new places and quiet outdoor havens in which to rest and heal. Through this process, she finds ways to overcome the loss of confidence and alienation that come with depression, and move towards a re-embracing of joy, freedom, and the capacity to make new memories.

 Alongside this online exhibition, Danielle will also have four works in the windows of Cooke’s Studio, in Barrow-in-Furness from 24 June—14 July 2021.

Danielle is a Fine Art and Social Practitioner, with these two roles interconnecting through people, place, nature and wellbeing. Originally from Blackpool, and now living in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, her socially engaged practice explores being neurodivergent as something that positively influences her art practice. She uses reflective approaches such as dialogue, fun, doodles and play to explore her own identity, resulting in creative conversational pieces and interventions that she also shares through educational activities. 

↳Visit artists website 

The artist would like to thank Dalton Tool Hire who kindly sponsored the installation film through lending equipment.

Source is a development lab for emerging Cumbrian Artists working alongside Cumbrian Cultural Organisations, artists and curators. Led by Signal Film and Media in partnership with Cumbria Museum Consortium.

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