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Psychiatric ward inspires art

Published Thursday, 05 October 2017

British Contemporary Artist Claire Margaret is to share the inspiration behind her new, exciting exhibition as part of Coventry’s Scratch the Surface - DIALOGUE, mental health arts festival.

Scratch the surface 2017

Claire will be talking about her personal reactions to the mental health system in the UK and showcasing her intriguing and intricate drawings, created while she was a patient on a psychiatric ward.​

​It is part of an exciting line-up for the festival, which runs until Tuesday (10 October) and is being presented by The Pod and its art collective, Collective//Pod.

Claire said: “I am passionate about eliminating the stigma around mental illness which, after studying at Chelsea School of Art, has led me towards exploring my work through performance. I consider the various perceptions around psychiatry, enriched by my diagnosis of schizophrenia.

“When I was first given the diagnosis, I thought that my life was over. However, in exploring the illness through my artwork I have been able to find focus and purpose in an attempt to overcome it, regularly attending lectures and debates to investigate, in depth, the history and theories around psychiatry and mental health disorders.

“The majority of my drawings were undertaken while an inpatient on a psychiatric ward. During this time, I really struggled to communicate verbally as my thoughts were very distorted and confusing, yet my artistic practice gave me some much needed clarity. 

"The drawings record my daily experiences and feelings, with one drawing made every day. When placed in sequence, they act as a visual diary that helps trace my emotional journey from day one to my release.”

See Claire Margaret alongside contemporary artists Bobby Baker and Terence Wilde tomorrow (Friday 6 October) at 5.30pm in City Arcadia, City Arcade.

To see the full festival programme, visit Facebook or follow on Twitter @STSfestivalCov.


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