York band Vesper Walk have made a short film about the effects of mental illness. Using their music as a backdrop, the film ‘Fist Of Art’ explores how debilitating depression and anxiety can be.
Using all York locations, including Osbaldwick and English Martyrs church, the eight minute film combines a variety of art forms, including music, drama, dance, human puppetry, poetry and art.
The band began in 2013 when classically trained pianists and sisters Catherine Cowan and Lisa-Marie Baker began to create a hybrid art form. With four hand piano at its core, their music is full of symbolism, fairytale and metaphor and their live shows combine elements of dance, drama and projected images.
Vesper Walk have been likened to Arcade Fire, The Tiger Lillies and early Genesis. Last year the eight piece band enjoyed success at the Edinburgh Fringe with their ‘Fallen Angel Show’, and performed sell-out shows around York including The Black Swan, NCEM and York Festivals.
Catherine and Lisa-Marie both feel passionately about how powerful the arts can be in coping with mental health issues. It’s sobering to think that 1 in 4 people have mental health problems at some point in their life (York Mind). But engaging in the arts can help, stimulating emotional responses, improving confidence and creating positive change.
National mental health charity ‘Sane’ backed the project, providing artwork from their service users.
The piece will be entered for national and international film festivals.
York festival organizer Ellen Jane has endorsed the film. “Vesper Walk should be immensely proud of this. Such a good job.”
The short film can be seen now on their website: http://vesperwalk.co.uk
Image: Yellow Mustang Photography