BBC Studios Prepping Space 22 Format


BBC Studios is set to produce Space 22, its first locally created original format for the ABC in Australia.

Created and produced by BBC Studios’ Australian production arm, the six-parter Space 22 will explore the impact of art and creativity on mental health. It will be available to the international market under the title Art on the Brain.

Space 22, hosted by recording artist Natalie Bassingthwaighte, follows seven strangers, each with their own lived experience of mental ill-health, as they take part in an experiment to test if the act of participating in art can help heal invisible wounds. The impact will be measured by Australia’s Black Dog Institute.

Australian artists Abdul Abdulla, Wendy Sharpe and Eddie Perfect will share their skills and inspiration with the volunteers across different disciplines. Working with the Black Dog Institute, Professor Kathryn Boydell will be measuring the results. The group will be supported by psychotherapist Noula Diamantopoulos.

Space 22 is distributed by BBC Studios.

Kylie Washington, general manager and creative director for production at BBC Studios ANZ, said: “I’m excited to be bringing our first original format to life for the ABC. Each year, one in five Australians experience mental illness but roughly 60 percent do not seek help. Space 22 explores what happens to our brains, bodies and emotions when we make art and what science reveals about the impact of colors, textures and sensory experiences on our mental health. I hope this series will demonstrate the amazing therapeutic power of creativity and offer an open invitation for individuals to pick up a paintbrush, sharpen a pencil or break out the pottery wheel.”

Jennifer Collins, ABC’s head of factual and culture, said: “ABC’s role is to provide programs that are relevant to the lives of Australians, and there are few Australians who are untouched by the effects of mental ill-health, whether that’s directly or indirectly. Space 22, through art, gives a voice to those affected, sharing stories and connecting with others, and in turn encouraging conversation. This series promises to be honest, thought-provoking and uplifting.”