This summer, artist Annie Nicholson – aka The Fandangoe Kid – has a big vision. In her characteristically colourful form, Nicholson wants to tour across the UK in an ice cream van, dishing out mint choc chip and real conversations about grief and mental health during Covid. But she needs the public’s help to pull it off.
Fandangoe Whip is a colourful mobile installation and workshop space that uses the comforting, natural and familiar icon of the ice-cream van as a conduit to encourage open conversation about our collective mental health, our personal experiences of loss, and the way we process our grief.
“Grief is a part of life and one that comes to us all. The sooner we find ways in which we can start to share this, the less overwhelming I believe the world will be.”
– Annie Nicholson, the Fandangoe Kid
Having worked with young people and marginalised communities in inner-city London for many years, the Fandangoe Kid has actively set out to create an environment that will reach out to those who don’t feel comfortable going into galleries and institutions, as well as those who may be reluctant to talk about complex, sensitive and difficult subjects such as grief and mental health. Because the ice cream van is recognised as a fun, safe space across ages and cultural boundaries, it makes an ideal platform through which to engage diverse audiences on the subject of trauma as we emerge from the pandemic.
Visitors can interact with the Fandangoe Whip in a number of ways – you can pop by simply for an ice cream and a chat, sign up for a talk or workshop, and stick around to share your own experiences of grief and mental health. The entire project is underpinned by the ambition to eliminate the remaining stigmas and taboos, and open up the subject of mental health at a time in our shared history when it has been under tremendous strain across all walks of society.