Artists commission mural to honour East End mental health campaigner

Marie McLeod, founder of Depression Changes Minds, will be the subject of a new mural. Pic: Zoe Ettinger

A Tower Hamlets campaigner who helps young people and their families cope with depression is being honoured with a mural of her commissioned by a local artists collective.

Marie McLeod, 38, of Mile End, who founded Depression Changes Minds, to be the subject of the mural commissioned by collective Trapped in Zone One.

The mural will be painted in Whitechapel’s Jealous Gallery tomorrow by Dawid Paradowski, 35, a Polish street artist known as Woskerski. The painting of the mural will be live and open to the public.

Jealous Gallery, where the mural of McLeod will be painted. Pic: Wikimedia

Trapped in Zone One was founded by artists Bablu Miah, 40, of Shoreditch and Natalia Suvorova, 34, of Crystal Palace.

Natalia Suvorova, left, and Bablu Miah, co-founders of Trapped in Zone One. Pic: Zoe Ettinger


Woskerski, left, painting a mural featuring Trapped in Zone One co-founder Natalia Suvorova. Pic: Trapped in Zone One

Woskerski has been a street artist for the past 10 years. He said: “I started with graffiti and for the first 10 years it was mostly illegal but I always wanted to do more… with more public awareness and street art being somehow more acceptable, if not trendy, there’s more public consent and more space for artists to create freely.”

Although he cannot reveal details of the mural just yet, he said it’s going to be “on the funny positive side” and that he “didn’t want to paint a serious ordinary portrait.”

He said: “I want the portrait to somehow show what Marie is doing in a very indirect way, and that a person like her has a special glow within that helps others.”

McLeod started Depression Changes Minds four years ago after her son was diagnosed with depression. She struggled to find the resources to cope with it and the toll it took on her and her family. The charity was a way for other families, who were going through the same thing, to come together.

Depression Changes Minds supports parents whose children have mental health illnesses through one to ones, peer support groups and family retreats. McLeod said: “They can come and tell us what’s gone wrong or right in their day and just know that they’re not on their own.”

In this video, McLeod and Trapped in Zone One speak about how this partnership was formed and what the future holds for the organisation.


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