E-Visitor Book

The Big Anxiety brings together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century.


Please leave your comment

Follow the discussion

  1. The Parragirls immersive experience at the Big Anxiety EPICentre was a moving and thought-provoking presentation of the terrible abuse perpetrated against children at the Parramatta Girls Home.
    Vulnerable children who were the victims of abuse were further abused when they complained or disclosed their treatment.
    I hope that the telling of these stories means this type of systemic abuse can never happen again to any child.
    I hope that the telling of these stories also brings some peace to the Parragirls who have finally had their voices heard.

    Tanya Plibersek MP
  2. Really interesting looking festival… will you be pulling this off again in 2018? If so, please post potential dates for us folks as far away as San Francisco. Also, I’d like to instigate a “free to fail” play zone, spanning the huge spectrum of play. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Wonderful, challenging, inspiring, soothing, confronting, all at the same time.
    A very important subject and a great forum in the arts to start important discussions.

    Providing a creative forum for issues that affect everyone.

    Thank you!

    Nicole Balestro
  4. Wonderful exhibitions thank you – especially the sensory exhibit

    Matthew Arnold-Hall
  5. The snoosphere is AMAZING!!!

  6. We visited Sydney this last weekend (27-29 October) from Brisbane, specifically to experience various events at the Big Anxiety festival. Wow we had such a eye opening, stimulating experience. The play Grace under Pressure (Seymour Centre) was brilliant and a very real insight into the health sector (although many of the themes resonate in other sectors as well). The exhibits and interactive experiences at the UNSW Art and Design hub again were awesome. Congratulations to the artists who shared their works and visions to heighten public understanding and action. We would recommend taking time to experience all the exhibits/works. A special call out to the wonderful and passionate staff at UNSW Art and Design who were very generous with their time to help us experience and understand the various works.

    debbie broadbent & peter ferreira
  7. We love this idea and program. Thank you great for my daughters anxiety the breathing lungs in soosophere

  8. Ultimately, a dilemma that I’m passionate about. I have looked for data of this caliber for the previous various hours. Your internet site is greatly appreciated. eegabgabfeeabeab

  9. as teaching art and the creative loses it value in public secondary schools and very few well being programs are thoroughly implemented it is good to see events like this take place. thanks

  10. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am sorry you had those horrible experiences.

  11. Really impressed with the interactive stuff at Riverside Theatre. I thought the collection of experiences really well curated. There was a bit of a problem with some of the equipment and I’m not sure if they would have managed well if there were more people, but I really enjoyed it. The Parramatta girls’ asylum immersive and the depressed boy interactive were especially affecting. Looking forward to exploring more.
    Well done.

  12. What I have seen so far here at COFA and the customs house is really fantastic, fav s far space in the custom house for relief for people with autism, I learnt a lot from that about the insights people have about navigating overwhelm, useful for all types have a sense of this. Looking forward to more. Thanks

    Niamh Stephenson
  13. Wow !!Production was fantastic ! The story an insightful expose’ of past injustices and malpractice. A masterpiece ! Thankyou to All.

    Neil Hawkes
  14. Where i work at the moment, there are a lot of people experience bullying.

    Dimity Holt
  15. Congratulations to the amazing Professor Jill Bennett and all her team, ambassadors and sponsors for organising and funding such an inspirational,affirming and much needed festival. The scale and inventiveness of this venture must have taken a huge effort on your part. On behalf of all those living with mental health challenges like myself and the huge number of people in the community who are feeling troubled by too many people taking their own lives due to their pain and the many more living in hope of new treatment interventions and strategies such as performance art , I thank you. Sydney you are blessed to have this festival. Hope it comes to Melbourne next year .

    Diana Yallop
  16. It’s been a really beautiful experience so far

  17. Hello 😘😘😘😘❀️❀️❀️❀️ I enjoyed seeing the sensory touch and feel even liked the calming lights and the balloon floating thing even relaxed under it to was such a great experience and really enjoyed it I reckon they should have more of these things on and my worker enjoyed it too 😍😍😍😍

    Best regards Alanna 😘😘😘😘❀️❀️❀️❀️😍😍😍😍

  18. Hello, I want to say how amazing and wonderful this program is, I along with a group of friends attended the body mapping at the Art Gallery last night and we all loved it. How refreshing it is to have real conversations about life and connect with other people. Thank you. I’ll be attending more gigs while it’s on. Carmel πŸ™‚

    Carmel Catanuto
  19. Great festival. It’s great to bring into public focus something not talked about often but so core to our existence. I went to an awkward conversation which was so interesting and helpful and not awkward at all. The connection between anxiety / neurodiversity and art makes so much sense. Best is wishes for the festival. I hope it becomes a regular thing.

  20. I went to Labyrinth Psychotica. Very interesting to have all those voices and extraneous impulses crowding in and competing and blending with my own inner voice(s)…this along with the presence of the facilitator adding extra impulses and giving security. I felt I could rely on my habituated sense of self to give some grounding among all the impressions, but I felt I got an idea of Jamie’s experience. It was good to have the facilitator there – necessary for safety and security – but also someone to give and receive feedback. This question of feedback raises a question for me from the experience: the voices and inputs did change when I pressed the buttons provided on the equipment, so there was a path for feedback, but in Jamie’s experience do the voices respond and change if he interrogates or talks back to the voices? I am wondering about whether there is a feedback loop in Jamie’s experience that the simulation can’t capture, and does this make it more involving and disturbing for him? Thank you for the opportunity to share this experience.

  21. Confronting, diverse and impressive exhibition

    Simon Wilson
  22. Och! So many cool people and their wonderful approaches to life, art, aren’t, can’t, Kant, will!
    Sometimes i wish i was madder.

  23. As part of the Awkward Conversations, I had a liberating and utterly fascinating conversation with Alessandro about suicide and the ways that we might be more aware about the signs that our thinking is going in a certain direction – and just what we might do to get support – there and then. Brilliant and eloquent insights around the rawest of subjects. Thank you…Clive

    Clive Parkinson
  24. I wish I’d known about this sooner. My latest book, Mental Health Made Easy, is written primarily to alleviate and prevent anxiety and depression by applying strategies supported by the latest research that helps us understand how to use our minds the way they are meant to be used. Will you be doing this next year? I also do keynote speeches and training programs.

    Jeanine Joy
  25. As a scientist who wanted to be an artist, I love that the world is shifting to a point where these things can happen together. Great initiative. I hope I can come to Sydney to check this out.

    Madeleine Parker
  26. Finally we can come out of the closet and defy uninformed prejudice. Thank you. A diverse sea of talented, worthy, good people who live with a crippling illness. May this festival be the beginning of the future.

  27. I love this exhibition. It really makes you think about where we are as a world with mental health and where we are going.

  28. I’m just wanting to apologise for not being able to attend the seminar Perception of Diversity yesterday in the end. I live with autism and ADHD and sometimes, as it is currently, it’s a day-by-day call. I heard it went well.

    Dean Walsh
  29. Thank you for sharing and bringing these important issues into the current discourse. I am an artist and a registered nurse working in Drug Heath at Sydney Local Health District. I would love to help link some of these ideas with the health district if there is an opportunity for it.
    Thank you.

    Kind regards,

    Lucy Batterham

    Lucy Batterham
  30. Hi! Saw an item on abc, really woke me up! Any chance this will come to melbourne??

  31. The Big Anxiety Festival of arts + science + people is underpinned by strong research evaluation – one that taps into the experience of attendees and follows up with them to further examine the impact longitudinally!
    The Big Anxiety offers a multitude of opportunities to enter into embodied spaces where individuals can engage in dialogue about the pervasive experience of anxiety (and other mental health issues) – as such I believe that it offers the potential to radically change awareness, attitudes and behaviours.

    Katherine Boydell, Mental Health Lead, The Big Anxiety, Black Dog Institute
  32. This is the first time that artists, designers, technical innovators, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health experts, and experts-by-experience have come together on such a scale to create a cultural festival of this kind – one that addresses mental health as a collective, social responsibility.

    Jill Bennett, Festival Director
  33. The concept and entire thinking behind this festival is inspiring and so very timely. It brings together the best of contemporary and experimental thinking and creativity and positions it in the context of what is usually medicalised, culturally demonised or, possibly worse, romanticised. It’s where art needs to be – at the intersections, making change, holding up mirrors, smashing them, giving voice to people, especially those denied public and cultural voice.

    Jane Crawley, Creative Victoria
  34. What a relief! Big Anxiety is a festival that truly speaks to the complexity of being alive – bringing together science based perspectives, lived experiences and the capacity of artists to provoke, disrupt and reveal us to ourselves.

    Angharad Wynne-Jones, Arts Centre Melbourne