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Renowned artist Terry Bradley designs electric guitar to raise funds for Action Mental Health

The artwork on the guitar reflects the two contrasting sides of mental health
Terry Bradley and Chris Moffit created the guitar together for Action Mental Health

Terry Bradley and Chris Moffit created the guitar together for Action Mental Health

Nicole McBride

Celebrated artist Terry Bradley is raffling his most ‘finely tuned’ piece of work to date.

A stunning new collaboration between Terry and Chris Moffitt of Kithara Guitars has been established this month in aid of Action Mental Health.

The pair have created an extraordinary ‘Never Give Up’ electric guitar, combining their exquisite craftsmanship and skill, culminating in a piece that embodies everything that their work stands for.

The impressive instrument has been created where both sides of the guitar reflect different aspects of mental health. The front of the guitar shows the colourful, positive facade that many people hide behind and the back shows the darker side of mental health.

Terry, who worked for hours on the intricate design, told the Sunday World: “It was tricky. On the front I wanted to have one of my really powerful, elegant, emotional girls and on the back I have my lone guy, which is my icon that I use on social media if I’m having a bad day.

“My guy is my version of an honest Belfast man. No denomination, no religion. He’s got a cut ear and normally quite rugged looking. He’s honest, he’s fair and he’s from Belfast like me.

Terry's motto 'Never Give Up' adorns the back of the guitar

Terry's motto 'Never Give Up' adorns the back of the guitar

“In my girls I hide and bring out my emotions. I’m able to say the things I feel, and I hide them within that girl or around her.”

The ‘Never Give Up’ moto has been painted on the neck of the guitar and is something that Terry lives by. It is inspired by how he has been dealing with his anxiety and depression over the years. He says that every day he tells himself ‘never to give up and keep going. Tomorrow is another day’.

The Belfast-born artist, who is famous for his collaborations, has previously worked with companies such as Harley Davidson.

He says: “I love doing these sorts of collaborations because it’s great getting craftsmen together to do something good.”

Chris Moffitt is a successful luthier, working in Northern Ireland. After struggling with depression and body image growing up, he found his salvation in his faith and using his hands to make instruments that would bring them the joy that he felt playing it.

The talented pair were introduced by a mutual friend, Simon Cordner of Windmill Guitars, who is a neighbour of the Bradley Gallery in Bangor, Co Down. They bonded over their mutual passions and struggles with their mental health.

“I always talk to people about mental health because I suffer terribly from it. And we thought it was a good idea if I got together with Chris and he made a one-off guitar and I did a one-off piece of art work on it. It was very intricate work,” said Terry.

This project and collaboration in particular is important to both of them. “I wanted to find some way where most of the money or all of the money went to the right cause. Going to the people in need.”

Action Mental Health helps smash the stigma of mental health. The two main services it provides are Men’s Shed and counselling.

The Just Giving page, which was started a week ago, has already raised over £7,300 and will run for another month before the pair take the instrument to Terry’s Belfast gallery to be raffled off for Action Mental Health.

Using his work as a kind of therapy, Terry says he hides stories and emotions in his pictures.

“It’s my way of expressing, capturing and marking things, and I think that other folks have found meaning in it as well.

“The art I talk about personally can be quite emotional and passionate. It’s something that stops you and moves you and supports you and makes you think.”

This artist hopes to continue collaborations in the future and has said that there are many people he hopes to work with. For now, though, he wants to let his work speak for him through his many personal projects. Working with charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society and the R-City youth group both help him emotionally and will hopefully help other people in the community as well.

He confesses: “The fact that I can help certain people out is just the best feeling in the world. That’s what keeps me going.”

For a chance to win the guitar, donate £10 or more to Action Mental Health at justgiving.com/fundraising/terry-bradleykitharaguitar.

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