Mara McWilliams’ website is a tour de force. Through her site www.maramcwilliams.com, I have stumbled upon a great bubbling vat of creativity that, at many points, springs directly from her experiences with mental disorder. I say at many points as although lots of her paintings and writing come directly from ‘that place’, sometimes hugely creative during manic episodes, lots of her articles and work is reflective on what it is like living a life with bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, anorexia and self-harm.
Mara has learnt over the years to go with her bodys’ flow and work with her disorders in an organic way. She speaks wisely of ‘taking responsibility’ as a bipolar woman. This is an interesting way to look at mental disorder, as if it is a tool to work with rather than something that, although it can, blights ones life and can only destroy it. While we can’t all be in control all of the time with mental disorder, it is refreshing to read about someone who has got to a level where they have learnt about how to cope in their own way, and protect themselves from the attack of mental disorder.
In any case, Mara’s website is an essential resource if you want to peer into the mind of someone living with issues of ‘teh mental’. She has some brilliant articles that you really must read, including using art therapy for good mental health.
A bio from Mara’s website…
“My work revolves around the concepts of hope, healing, and expressionism. I believe that by feely sharing emotion through color choices and brush strokes, we become in touch with our true selves. Creating art is almost a meditative process for me that is motivated by my spirituality. Due to technology, we long ago stopped needing the artist to accurately represent reality. I see my responsibility as an artist to give the viewer the opportunity to see worlds that before might have previously been shut off to them. Giving the viewer a different perspective on life, is perhaps the biggest honor an artist can receive.
As an openly Bipolar woman, the recurring goal of my work is to inspire other individuals with mental illness. I want those with a mental illness to know that there is a life full of wonderful possibilities after diagnosis.
I want others like myself to find the beauty in their unique mind and utilize it, like I have with my art. Art creates freedom and hope in my life. It is my goal to share the process of self-discovery and letting go that allows one to live a more stable life full of contentment.”
Isolated Woman 2