Thousand tear bottles raise mental health issues in St Albans

Thousand Bottles of Tears

Thousand Bottles of Tears - Credit: Archant

A private viewing of a critically acclaimed installation created by ceramic artist Deborah Tompsett goes on display in the city this month to help raise awareness of mental health issues.

Entitled Thousand Bottles of Tears, it is being hosted by financial and business advisers Grant Thornton in St Albans next Wednesday, July 29, and has been organised by local resident Mandy Johnson with the support of her father John Forrest after her aunt took her own life two years ago.

Each of the thousand tear bottles have been individually “thrown” on a potter’s wheel from lumps of clay representing the size of a man, woman and child’s heart.

It gives each bottle a distinct look and feel, emphasising the uniqueness of individuals whilst showing the common language of tears and the emotional experiences everyone has.

Commenting on the exhibition, Mandy said: “My father first saw the display at Chichester Cathedral and was inspired by the way the installation positively highlights the power of tears.

“There are references to tear bottles throughout history from pilgrims in the Bible carrying tear bottles on their long journeys to Victorians using the vessels to catch tears and wait for them to evaporate, symbolising the end of mourning. Deborah’s display highlights how everyone, throughout history to the present day, has to cope with the same emotional struggles.”

She added: “I experienced first-hand the impact of mental health issues two years ago when my aunt took her own life. Through this exhibition I hope to raise awareness of those struggling with mental health challenges and help ensure people do not have to face these difficulties alone.”

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Visitors to the exhibition at Grant Thornton’s will be able to purchase an exclusive tear bottle, with all money raised donated to mental health charity MIND Mid Hertfordshire to support its work.