I have spent a lot of time recently trying to justify to funders why they should put money into Space2Create. I draw on my own experience both as a mental health patient battling serious depression, suicidal thoughts and schizoid tendencies and as a practitioner observing the effects of creative activity on fellow sufferers. In doing so I arrived at a long list of benefits and reasons, some of which feel contradictory to others. Yet to me the be…nefits are clear. I want to share my thinking and welcome your comments and input as I briefly tackle each desperately, so here we go.
I found that at my worst moments being creative was a life saving activity. As a distraction it gives a focus that you control. When most of your life is out of control or being controlled by other people, the act of putting paint to canvas on your terms is a liberating feeling. People often talk about being in the “zone” when they create. This allows all the other stuff, the crap that is screwing your life up, to be temporarily denied. It will need addressing, but you need to escape it, it’s constant presence ripping your soul apart. Art does that. The chance to be, for a time, transported to a creative place of empowerment is so valuable to me. Others I have worked with describe this too. A chance to escape your problems. It doesn’t matter what or even how good it is, just doing it is so powerful.
Next time no. 2 Cathartic creativity.