Emotional pain

In my last post, I mentioned Susan Schellenberg as having experienced mental illness, but I prefer to talk of “emotional pain.”  I use “emotional pain” to refer to psychological difficulties that Cause substantial distress. Interfere with ability to achieve important … Continue reading

Shedding Skins

The Shedding Skins paintings show dream images, a nun riding a pinto through the desert, a ghostly Beethoven contemplating a small vibrant green tree, a fragile, though armoured Joan of Arc astride her powerful horse,. The text tells a story … Continue reading

Rendezvous With Madness: Kauwboy (Little Bird)

As the lights come up after Kauwboy (Little Bird), opening film for the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival, the audience is so moved, it’s hard to talk. Little Bird is an internationally acclaimed Dutch film that tells of Jojo, a … Continue reading

Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in the Streets art performance in Toronto

I’m holding a hand-drawn map and standing with eight or so other audience members, also holding maps, in front of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. We are waiting for a performance of Dancing in the Streets. “10, 9, … Continue reading

Introduction

Bare Witness - Here We Are

Why does art have anything to do with mental illness? I have worked for years as a clinical psychologist in Toronto.  I was respectful, but not particularly interested in how art contributed to healing until artist Susan Schellenberg asked me … Continue reading