A TAUNTON artist has created an inspiring art exhibition based on real life experiences of mental health in a bid to normalise discussions.

Sarah Hollebon, 22, an artist in residence at University Centre Somerset, has recently opened her first solo art exhibition 'Death Over Time' at the Taunton campus.

Miss Hollebon, a recent graduate of London College of Fashion, used her own and other people's experience of mental health to sculpt and create an eight-piece exhibition.

The talented artist said: “My 8 outfit collection explores the stigmas and the misconceptions surrounding mental health.

"Each outfit represents a disorder: anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, post traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder, while the 8th outfit reflects recovery.

"First hand, I interviewed people with these mental disorders, then turned their experiences, insights, and emotions into statuesque art works to highlight the complexity that rises from a mental health survivor.

"A mental health survivor can overcome the complexities and rise to a state of being strong and active.”

She hopes her thought-provoking pieces will encourage people to talk more openly about mental health.

As well as interviewing other people about their experiences with mental health, she also called upon her own thoughts and feelings to impact on her work, including her struggles with anxiety and depression.

"I have been lucky to come out the other end into recovery," She said. "All I have wanted to do since then is to give back to mental health organisations – raising awareness, donating, educating society around us.

"The support I got from various counsellors and therapists over the years has shaped me for who I am today, and for them I am forever grateful.

"I won’t stop advocating these issues until the dialogue is nothing but a positive subject.

"The conversation around suffering from any mental disorder needs to become so normalised in schools, work places, and education that is becomes the same level of importance as a physical condition."

The exhibition also features collaborations with four other artists: Beth Cole, a hand embroiderer, Connor Lawson, a fashion illustrator, Rebecca Bruton, a machine embroiderer, and Zhou Xinjia, a fashion photographer.

Her exhibition started at the end of April and runs until May 10.