…or maybe someone you know?
Mental health challenges are a big deal, a really big deal, that often seem to hit with a bang, seemingly sneaking up from nowhere. But look closer.
I’m fine thanks. How are you? is a piece I worked on last year when mental health weighed heavy on my mind for many reasons. I started and worked on it under the tutelage of Anna Hergert at Art Quilt Campus in Saskatchewan last July. For the piece, I needed a face and mine was conveniently located so it’s me you see but it could be the face of anyone.
When I started working all I could focus on was the dark, dark side of mental health. However, an inspiring and creative woman whom I consider both a mentor and a friend, reminded me that there is always the hope of good health. Her words guided me as I continued.
The result is not a masterpiece but I share it for two reasons.
First, it’s a not so subtle opportunity to discuss a subject that’s hard to talk about and that makes people uncomfortable. The reality is that there’s a lot of shitty feelings, and anger, fear, pain, sadness and despair that goes along with poor mental health for those dealing with it directly and for their families, friends, and colleagues. But we can’t do much about it until we recognize it. So, this is my effort to get you to stop and look closer. Don’t choose to be blind to it. See it, think and talk about it, and act positively however you can. It’s better than doing nothing and could help lead to understanding, joy and healing.
Second, in making this piece I learned that creating helps. It can help when all the thinking, talking, analyzing, yelling, crying, or silence in the world can’t. I don’t know why but it does. Try it.
(For those interested…I made the piece using cotton, wool felt, transfer paper, synthetic thread and vinyl mesh screen.)