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Art Gallery

Mental Health – Art as Salvation

There are things we can touch and then there are things that touch us. Art is one of those things and it makes contact with our soul. Living can be seen as an art form; there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, no passing grade that earmarks success. All we have is our spirit and how well we live up to it. Art is communication, freedom, catharsis and much more. It’s a medium for the things that demand to be felt. Everyone is and can be an artist. It’s not all about talent, technique and skill; one can be the ‘worst’ artist in the world and yet derive the same benefits as a master. Art can be ‘the great emancipator’, and not solely for the artist. It’s primordial; when an artist shares their creation it’s as if to say; “Come into my world and take a look. I too am struggling to be human and this is what I see and feel. What about you?” Powerful art is perhaps more of an open question than a definitive answer. As such, art is not only for others to behold; it can be a desperate attempt to make sense of what’s generally too large and complicated to make sense of. Reality is vast but art is a raw slice of it. It’s also in the eye of the beholder, as is life when you think about it.

It doesn’t matter what medium one chooses to express themselves, only that it’s personally authentic. Art comes from within, speaking of ones’ inner truths and questions while the medium is simply a vehicle. Yours may be a paintbrush and canvas, clay that you sculpt with your hands or your body as it follows the music. Maybe it’s photography, drawing or just pen on paper. Art is YOUR truth, the form being a preferred conduit.

When I write it’s as though my deepest sentiments travel through my pen and make visible the otherwise intangible. There’s a reason I say that writing is like breathing for me. It may be a reason why I’m still alive. My personal journal over the years has been a comfort; a channel for the chaos of my mind. I wrote and still write thoughts that I cannot express any other way.

When you’re suffering and can’t seem to get it out in speech with another person the feelings can become poison. Thankfully, speech is not our sole salvation. Releasing the poison in any way you choose is a step towards freedom and understanding. An essential aspect of recovery is creating a distance between yourself and your illness in order to observe things more impartially and rationally. Art can greatly aid us in this endeavour. We are all artists and embracing this part of ourselves opens the door to a new world and a new way of looking at it…experiencing it…appreciating it.

In truth, anything can be your art-form. Art is what you make of it and can be derived from anything. It is a bottomless resource available to anyone, anywhere, and that’s incredibly precious. It knows no bounds. There is one main takeaway today and that is that we should all be artists. No, we already are…perhaps all that remains is learning how to tap into that side of ourselves.

What's YOUR take?