Illustrating Futures Residency at Tate Modern featuring Ian Williams


Interactive, all-ages exhibition exploring the therapeutic link between comics, isolation and mental health.

Illustrating futures is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Comics Youth CIC, helping young people contribute to the mental health conversation through the creation of comics, zines and sequential art.

They are inviting the public to an exhibition at the Tate Modern Exhange space to discover and unearth how young people from the Liverpool City region truly feel and what they have achieved against a backdrop of cuts to education, mental health services and discrimination due to their marginalised statuses. See the strength of our young people’s voices through a wide variety of artwork, comics and zines that highlights their lived experiences and achievements.

Visitors will also be encouraged  to make their own comics; participate in guided workshops and experience the pleasure of having their work on display in the TATE. Workshops on offer include visual storytelling and zine and comic making sessions-to be published as part of Comics Youth’s upcoming isolation zine.

Illustrating Futures will be accompanied by a symposium discussing the use of graphic narratives as an intervention tool to improve the mental health and overall wellbeing of young people, in which author Ian Williams will be speaking in part of a comics round table. This part of the event isn’t open to the public however will instead be used to support subsequent mental health and illustration research, workshops and presentations.

Ian Williams is a comics artist, doctor and writer, now living in Brighton. He has studied Medicine, Medical Humanities and Fine Art and he founded the website, coining the term that has been applied to the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. Ian is author of The Bad Doctor and The Lady Doctor.

Comics Youth is a multi-national award-winning Merseyside based Social Enterprise that provides comics-based literacy and wellbeing projects for marginalised children and young people aged 8-25 within the Liverpool City Region. Comics Youth was co-founded and is led by a board of young people under 30 with the same lived experiences as the enterprise’s targeted groups.  From being young people who struggled with suicidal ideation and self-injury they know first-hand the gaps in provision for young people and established the organisation as a means of plugging service provision gaps between tier 1-4 services for those who fall through the cracks. Their mission is to provide a voice for hard to reach young people including looked after children, LGBTQIA young people, young carers, SEND young people and young people experiencing mental ill-health by providing them the tools to express themselves, improve their literacy and speak truth to power through creating comics regarding salient community issues. They deliver 13 targeted sessions per week in a range of inclusive settings including hospitals, community centres, libraries and inpatient settings.

More information coming soon.