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Exhibition shows how art can be a creative force against addiction

PUBLISHED: 11:58 29 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:52 07 September 2010

An unusual art exhibition opened at Burgh House in Hampstead yesterday. Creativity Against Addiction includes established artists such as Celia Paul and some showing for the first time. The exhibition is in aid of Northern Bridge Productions, a charitable

An unusual art exhibition opened at Burgh House in Hampstead yesterday.

Creativity Against Addiction includes established artists such as Celia Paul and some showing for the first time.

The exhibition is in aid of Northern Bridge Productions, a charitable trust founded by Primrose Hill author Patrice Chaplin in 1999.

Last night's presentation about its innovative work challenging substance craving was introduced by author and critic Michael Arditti.

He earlier told me that when Patrice asked him to join the board of the charity he wondered if she knew something he didn't.

"Addiction seemed to be one of the few problems from which I didn't suffer," he said.

But over the years, he realized her reasoning was sound because "creative artists and addicts both try to construct alternative worlds, with the crucial difference that the former are benign and the latter destructive".

He believed that The Bridge's creative writing and drama therapy workshops have encouraged many people to explore their own lives and those of the people around them - at times with exceptional results.

"It is wonderful to see the same opportunity now given to people with a talent for the visual arts," he said.

The art on display - and for sale - includes a haunting crayon drawing (pictured) by Patrice's son Chris, who studied at Chelsea School of Art and counts the celebrated Scottish painter Craigie Aitchison as an influence.

Creativity Against Addiction runs until February 1 at Burgh House in New End Square. Open Wednesday to Sunday noon to 5pm. Presentation: Thursday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. For information

about Northern Bridge Productions, log on to www.amberbridge.co.uk.

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