Sunday, September 09, 2007

M.A.D Art Installation

If you haven’t had the opportunity to go to the M.A.D (Making a Difference) Art Installation this week, unfortunately you have missed your chance, as the last day was today.

I managed to go on Friday with my Curly Haired Friend, and it was a very moving experience.

I was quite surprised when I first arrived as I wasn’t expecting the Gallery to be so small, but there was a lot of work crammed into a very small area, and our time there seemed to absolutely fly by as there were so many fascinating pieces to see, hear, and read. I only wish that the pieces had been properly labelled to give full credit to the artists.

One piece that I could hardly tear my eyes away from was this piece with the words “The One That Got Away” written in the bottom right hand corner.


Made of tubes, to me the people looked like they were tied up in straight jackets. It reminded me of how people with mental health problems are often restricted and held back from enjoying life due to heavy medication regimes inflicted on them. Also, how restrictive it must feel to have ones freedom taken away when hospitalised against ones will, and yet without the safety of those confines “the one that got away” didn’t fair any better. It seems to be a hopeless situation for some, and it struck me that mental illness is like a straight jacket in itself. How can one break free from that?

I also found the sculptures interesting to look at and I couldn’t help but notice that all except two of them were people bowed down low, obviously indicating the crippling depression that accompanies mental illness. The only two that were looking up seemed to me to be writhing in pain.

My Curly Haired Friend, who like me, has suffered from depression, was drawn to this ladder made with barbed wire. It reminded her how impossible it feels to pull yourself up again once you have reached the bottom, as every step is full of pain.


Although the art was very good, the experience was painful. It wasn’t a celebration of art, or a celebration of those surviving mental illness, but mental illness expressed through art. I just saw and heard pain everywhere. For me, the most distressing part was one of the audio pieces; the constant mumbling and whispering was unbearable. I wanted to scream for it to stop, and I realised that this is something that Mr Man has to cope with every day.

Although upsetting, it was an experience I would recommend as it fulfilled its purpose of giving insight into the torture of mental illness.


My apologies for not being able to give credit to the relevant artists.


Other exhibitions

The “Frame of Mind” Art Exhibition will be displaying artwork of people managing a serious mental illness or brain disorder. It will be held on Monday 22nd October - Sunday 4th November 2007 at Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Wycombe Swan Art Gallery is situated in the Circle Foyer. Click here for directions.

“Mental Image” is an international open art exhibition exploring mental health hosted by Project Ability. Selected work will be exhibited in Project Ability’s two galleries, located in the centre of Glasgow, from Monday 8th October – Friday 23rd November 2007.
Click here for location and more information.

8 comments:

uphilldowndale said...

I wish I could have seen the exhibition, it must have been an emotionally exhausting day for you

Mr Mans Wife said...

Yes, I suppose it was. When I got home I couldn't wait to give Mr Man a big squeezy cuddle.

I'm not sure where abouts in the country you are UpHillDownDale, but there is an exhibition coming up in October in Buckinghamshire (details in part three of "Genius or Madness?"), and another in November in Glasgow - details to follow.

Slurry said...

These art exhibitions really do get me when I go to them, becouse its all suffering, but in a form people can really see. Looking at the picture of "the one who got away" made me very sad, as its so true.
I am intending to go to the one in Bucks.

Hope both you and Mr Man are ok.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Slurry! I've been thinking about you. Ihope you're ok; it's been quite a while since we've heard from you.

Yes I agree, looking at these pieces can be very difficult.

I plan to go to the one in Bucks too. Maybe I'll wear a big badge saying "MR MANS WIFE" :o) or something more subtle... I could carry something relating to the Mr Men! That will be my sectret code for people to identify me :o)

Slurry said...

Ahh might see you there then! I shall look out for any signs of Mr Men!

I have been ok, Went on my Hols for abit, and found coming back hard and had a small blip, nothing that required any real intervention, just abit more support than normal. but normal service has resumed!

Mr Mans Wife said...

I'm very glad to hear it Slurry! I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable time while you were away.

Slurry said...

Yep was wonderfull, hadnt been way for a while so 4 weeks away was just the right thing, I think I would get better if I could do say 4 weeks away, back for 2, then another 4 weeks away, so on and so forh, Hmmm maybe I shuldput it in writting to the nhs and ask them to pay for it? as they pay upwards of £1200pw to put me in respite when they feel like it! they might pay as it would stop me darkening there doors for a while!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Hehehe, it sounds like a good plan to me Slurry! :o)

Wow, 4 weeks away! Yes please!

I thought it was interesting that it was actually coming home again that you found difficult - for Mr Man going away would be the hard bit. I'm glad you had such a nice time. Roll on next years holiday eh?