five senses from my world: ali strick, founder of arts sisterhood uk

Discover five senses from Ali Strick's world, founder of Arts Sisterhood UK, a DIY organisation for mental health recovery through creative therapy.

Ali Strick is the founder of Arts Sisterhood UK, a DIY organisation aimed at women and non-binary people that uses art as a means to work towards mental health recovery. Inspired by both the online communities of women lending a hand to one another and the lack of affordable art classes, Ali wanted to create a real life space where people could come together to help and support one another. Now her primary focus, Arts Sisterhood UK stands as a vital organisation in providing access to creative therapy without the extortionate costs of private health care or months spent on an NHS waiting list, with easily accessible all-inclusive art classes across the UK that aim to leave each participant feeling empowered and safe in the knowledge that they are never alone. "Arts Sisterhood UK is a combination of all of the things I wanted for my own mental health recovery", Ali says, "and I figured that if I wanted something like this to exist, there must be others too.”

The next Arts Sisterhood UK class will run on April 21st at DIY Space for London. Tickets from £3.


Through Arts Sisterhood UK, I have discovered that many mental health issues are born out of not addressing certain issues and experiences and not letting go of negative thoughts/feelings.

There are many benefits of art therapy. To begin with, there is mindfulness - clearing thoughts from your head and focusing on a task while still being in touch with how you are feeling throughout the piece you are working on. Making a note of the intensity and feeling of your emotions contributes to eliminating stress and anxiety while also helping people to get in touch with what is really going on inside them. I think the most important benefit is digging down into your psyche to find things you may not have addressed before, and this awareness then helps you come to terms with your past experiences.


On my self-love journey, I realized that to love yourself you've got to be comfortable in your own company.

How can you be good company to someone else if you can’t keep yourself happy and entertained when alone? Berlin is the city where I first learnt this. I love to go there alone, explore it alone, go clubbing alone, eat dinner alone, go to bars alone, go to galleries alone, go shopping alone, travel alone. I think it's one of the least judgemental cities in the world, so it’s a good place to try things out that you’d be afraid to do somewhere else. I feel very comfortable there, and it’s easy to meet people and make new friends. I always come away feeling like I’ve let my hair down and gone a bit wild, which is cathartic and a nice break from stress. It leaves me feeling ready to go back to reality and the grind in London.


Peckham in South East London has such an amazing community of creative people and independent businesses supporting each other. 

I’m constantly inspired by the creative ventures in Peckham - it’s part of the reason I felt spurred to go ahead and do my own thing. I saw normal people with hardly any business experience and little money growing their ideas and getting huge amounts of success and this gave me some motivation to try and do the same. Working with venues like DIY Space for London in Peckham, a community/volunteer-led business with an ethos built on inclusivity and sharing your skills/experience with a community, was really interesting to encounter and very essential! They’ve been so supportive and kind and I think they’re the reason why Arts Sisterhood UK has been so successful.


A church at the top of a very, very, VERY tall hill in the Tuscan countryside is a view that took my breath away.

There was this beautiful rustic orange colored stone, an arched walkway with tall pillars, decorated with beautiful religious, renaissance murals within the arches. This walkway went on for about 3 hours, up stairs and ramps, until you finally reach the church. It quite literally takes your breath away, especially if you’re a smoker like I am! I was left gasping for air and water especially since it was such a sweltering day. But the suffering was worth it, and I almost think that it was purposely built to make people suffer because it honestly feels like a pilgrimage. You really appreciate reaching the church so much more after the struggle of climbing all of those stairs for hours and you genuinely feel blessed by God to be able to use toilets and a water fountain. 


Elizabeth Fraser, the lead singer of Cocteau Twins/This Mortal Coil, is one of my favorite musicians. 

Her voice is beautiful and ethereal while remaining powerful and intense. I love her lyrics; a collection of words and noises that sound very pretty together but don’t necessarily make any sense when you read them. However, when you listen to her singing you can hear the emotion and meaning behind each word in her voice. It’s fun to wonder about what she means or interpret my own meaning for each song. She conveys such raw emotion that if you really focus on the music, it can be very powerful and moving. I recently found a Cocteau Twins meme about her singing/lyrics and it made me so happy that someone put how put how I feel about something relatively obscure into meme-form!

This Week

making codes: behind the scenes

Take another at director Liza Mandelup's Making Codes video, a look behind the scenes at digital artist and creative director Lucy Hardcastle's piece 'Intangible Matter' that features producer Fatima Al Qadiri, artist Chris Lee and a host of more leading digital artists.

Read More

making movement: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in filmmaker Agostina Galvez’s Making Movements: a look at the making of The Pike and the Shield: Five Paradoxes with ballerina Nozomi Iijima and other leading movers and shakers from the world of dance including choreographers and dancers Holly Blakey, Aya Sato and the duo Project O. 

Read More

making films: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes in director Eva Michon's Making Films with Alma Har'el video: a look at the making of JellyWolf and the current state of play within the film industry through the eyes of female filmmakers championing diversity, and Alma Har'els Free The Bid initiative. 

Read More

making images: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes at photographer Harley Weir’s journey in capturing five women from around the world as well at a number of other creators defining the image of today in documentary filmmaker Chelsea McMullan’s Making Images video. 

Read More

making exhibitions: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in director Christine Yuan’s Making Exhibitions with Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel: a look at the making of Just A Second: A Digital Exhibition Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, inspired by CHANEL Nº5 L'EAU, and a look at other leading curators and collectives from the art world including BUFU, Rozsa Farkas, Fatos Ustek, Angelina Dreem and Yana Peel.

Read More

seeing sound: in conversation charlotte hatherley & carly paradis

Two of London’s most sought after figures in visually-shaped music meet.

Read More

lizzie borden: feminist trailblazer

As her magnum opus returns to UK shores, Lizzie Borden – the visionary artist behind Born in Flames – talks rebellion, feminist artistry, and her nostalgia for 70s NYC.

Read More

rebecca lamarche-vadel's
just a second

Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel is the Paris based curator for the Palais De Tokyo. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art she puts on large scale exhibitions that span installation, dance, sculpture, photography and spoken word. For The Fifth Sense she created a digital exhibition based on the transformative power of CHANEL’s Nº5 L’EAU.

Read More

reba maybury: she’s got the power

We sat down with the editor, writer and dominatrix Reba Maybury to discuss her taboo-breaking publishing house Wet Satin Press, her latest novel Dining With Humpty Dumpty and what it means to be a woman in control.

Read More