Gallery launch: Bipolarity
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July 11, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
‘Bipolarity’ is an exhibition exploring manic-depressive illness. Pointillist artist Cerys Knighton draws from her experiences of living with bipolar disorder since childhood, as well as her medical humanities PhD research which examines the conceptualisation of manic-depressive illness as a diagnostic category.
An illness surrounded by stigma, this exhibition tackles misconceptions. Those unfamiliar with bipolar are often surprised to learn about the scope of symptoms, from cognitive dysfunction, to hallucination, to sensory overload. The artworks range from depicting individual symptoms to analysing developments in medical treatment from the nineteenth century onwards, exploring the first two chapters of Cerys’ thesis, ‘Animalistic Representations’ and ‘The Dancing Manic Patient’, as well as using her research to reflect on current social attitudes towards bipolarity.
Cerys’ artwork toys with human and animal anatomy through ink textures, and by contrasting pointillism – a process of delicately layering thousands of individual ink dots – with softer mediums. By using familiar signifiers from the world around us, and exploring the divide between organic and inorganic, Cerys’ work challenges the viewer’s perspective to provoke discussion about social perceptions of mental ill health, uncovering the different realities lurking beneath statements of ‘I’m fine’.
About the Artist:
Cerys Knighton is a Welsh artist and medical humanities PhD student funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. Primarily using a pointillism technique with pen and ink, her artwork examines and communicates the findings from her research. Cerys analyses patient case notes, medical journals and literary texts to investigate the conceptualisation of mood disorders as a category for diagnosis. Her artwork also draws from her own experiences of living with bipolar disorder.