Art and Depression



feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”
synonyms: melancholy, misery, sadness, unhappiness, sorrow, woe, gloom, gloominess, dejection, downheartedness, despondency, dispiritedness, low spirits, heavy-heartedness, moroseness, discouragement, despair, desolation, dolefulness, moodiness, pessimism, hopelessness; the slough of despond; upset, tearfulness; informalthe dumps, the doldrums, the blues, one’s black dog, a low; informalthe blahs, a funk, a blue funk; informalthe mopes; technicalclinical depression, endogenous depression, reactive depression, postnatal depression, dysthymia, melancholia; literarydolour; archaicthe megrims; raremopery, disconsolateness, disconsolation

I received an email today from the charity group Next Steps which supports people with depression.  I am interested in collaborating with this charity as part of my project.  I believe identity is a multi layered and shifting thing, much like depression itself.  You can see from the dictionary definition above that depression can not be described using one single word.

I have been invited to meet some of the people that this charity supports, by meeting these people I hope to learn a bit more about this complex disorder.  My aim is to discover how these people feel about identity and if they believe depression alters it.


Reflection on week (20th April)

Over the past week I have been meeting charities interested in taking part in my project that explores Identity in disease and disability.

I am very thankful to the charity SeeAbility for having me, taking me on a tour of their residential care home, and introducing me to some of the people they support.

For me this was an eye opening and emotional experience.  It was amazing to get an insight in to the lives of the people that live in this home, which is their permanent residence.  The care home I visited is home to six adults with multiple disabilities, with an emphasis on sight loss.

When first entering the building I was struck by how homely and comfortable the house looked, far from the cold and clinical look that I expected.  The walls were covered in colourful paintings and drawings done by the residents.  This became of great interest to me as I was later told that most of the patients are partially or completely blind.

The reason for my visit was to speak to the manager of the care home about potential subjects for my portraits.  Meeting the people I am possibly going to use as my subjects was a vert exciting experience.  One woman in particular stood out to me, she was very interested in the conversation I was having with the Manager and stood in the room listening.  When I was introduced to her, she stepped forward and held her had out, as I put my hand out to hers she pulled it up towards her face, perhaps as a way to introduce her self.  This made me think about the importance of touch to someone who has no, or very little sight.

Over the next couple of days I will be getting in contact with the families of some of these people, to get permission to take photos and make some initial sketches.



I am hugely thankful to the charities who are helping me, especially to the people who are allowing me to talk to and paint them. Their honesty and courage is an inspiration. All of these charities need and deserve financial support. I will be offering the portraits I paint in this project to the sitters and charities. Any money raised during my project will be donated to the charities involved.

Teenage Cancer Trust







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