Inferno is a service user with Bipolar. She is taking medication, Lamictal and Clonazepam. It might seem a bit strange to add this but I think it’s relevant and important. Inferno is female, 35 years old and a potter by trade. She also takes part in creating other works of art, like this wonderful drawing. Inferno has signed up to the Mental Spaghetti forum as she, like me, is keen to build a community of creative service users.
“I am a 35 year old female, who just happens to be Bipolar, and an artist. I am a potter/sculptor by trade, and a dabbler at anything else that requires art supplies of any sort. Art is therapy, a pass-time, and an instinctual, absolute NEED to me. I simply must be creating something most of the time. I have been “officially” Bipolar for 5 years now. Although I know I have been most of my life. Art has been my saviour. I urge anyone, artistic or not, to try art therapy. Let those art supplies fly, you will be surprised how good it feels!”
Inferno’s website ‘The Demons Within: Being a Bipolar Artist‘. Please take a look.
It’s been a peach of a week for submissions. First we met Hendrick Pinkle, and now, for your delectation, here’s Daj Mirage. Daj is a mental health sevice-user who has been an inpatient and uses art to communicate his experiences.
You can find more of his work and thinking at his blog, ‘Not Always So’.
The image below is titled ‘A is for Acute’, and here are some words from Daj…
“First of a series that’s based on my own experience. I’m trying to capture the real sense of distress that can accompany any mental health service user.”
“Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc., is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit incorporation organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and networking purposes to promote, develop, and support international art therapy initiatives and the work of art therapists worldwide. ATWB was founded in April 2010 to meet the need for an organization dedicated to a global art therapy community; the exchange of information, news, media, and resources; the development of online educational opportunities; and the advancement of collaboration and research. Our core mission is to encourage the use of art in service to others in need through art therapy, art in healthcare, and art as a form of social transformation.
The Art Therapy Alliance and International Art Therapy Organization have formed this umbrella organization to consolidate our programs, but still provide the art therapy community with a vital social network dedicated to education, research, information exchange, and service to others.”
All text and video taken from http://www.atwb.org/.
Brain not up for a well-considered write up so for today’s entry we’ll have a lot of Louis. Louis Wain. Both mental* and not.
*Don’t tell me off for the use of this word. I favour it and am not using it in a derogatory manner.
I stole images from all over the place to put in this blog, if you are feeling friendly please right-click on the images and view properties to find the blogs I pinched them from. Thanks.
The other day I stumbled across an extensive archive of work by mental health service users in the form of Breakthrough: Art in mental health. I got in touch with them straight away to say how much I admire what they are doing and I hope they wouldn’t mind me linking to some of their images. I’ve not heard anything back yet, however I have found out that linking to their images doesn’t work (because of some internets dark arts code that I do not understand) so all I can do is ask you to please go and visit their website, and search through all the galleries, read their blog and especially read their National Strategy Group page.
Here are some quick links to their galleries, split into Northern, Midlands and Southern UK artists.
Northern Artists / Midlands Artists / Southern Artists
A self-portrait of Ged Melling in his younger days. Ged was a British cartoonist, illustrator and painter who suffered from Bipolar Disorder. To find out more about Ged (now sadly deceased) click here.