How Art Can Replace Words In A Lonely World | Mental Health Awareness Week

This year’s mental health awareness week will take place from 9th-15th May 2022. The theme this year is Loneliness, 1 in 4 adults feel lonely some or all of the time, which leads to risk of mental health issues and this theme hopes to help highlight this problem by letting sufferers know they are not alone, that there is help and that they can get through these times. There are ways to help deal with these problems and the link at the end of the article gives some useful tips.

Does art help mental health?

Mental health has been a massive part of art for generations. So many artists have had issues with their mental health, assumptively because of their sensitivity to the world around them. Creativity exists from how people feel and some of the best artists have been through their fair share of emotional periods and hardship.

Why does art help mental health?

Artists have used art as a way to rehabilitate and fuel their energy into something positive. Generations upon generations of artists have used art as escapism, famous artists include Vincent Van Gogh, Francis Bacon, Edgar Degas, and Edvard Munch. Perhaps these artists became so famous because of their mental health? Maybe being sensitive in this way allows artists to reach their full creative genius — by pulling on such powerful emotions.

Vincent Van Gogh is an incredible advocate for creativity during hardship, up to the date of his suicide in 1890, Vincent did not allow his poor mental health to stop him from painting — instead as a remedy. We should remember Vincent and these other artists during Mental Health Awareness Week and continue to use art as an emotional outlet to aid in the recovery of poor mental health.

Art is such a powerful tool that can help us express and understand our emotions when perhaps words are not so easy. Art can provide an escapism that gives release and for some artists their depression was their inspiration too. Tracey Emin is an artist who shamelessly confronts the most raw emotions, depression and loneliness that she has suffered and these have featured strongly in her work . The struggles of insomnia seen in her ‘Fortnight of Tears’ exhibition were displayed with powerful effect, but perhaps one of the most positive results of this kind of art is that those suffering realise they are not alone. Their loneliness and depression has been felt by others and shared as art for all to judge and in this there may be some comfort. Emin speaks her mind and doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks — like her or not she is honest in her expressions of pain and her art pours out her hurt and struggles and speaks to so many in so many different ways. The Loneliness of the Soul exhibition last year truly explored these themes of grief, depression and loss explored in art. Some artists like Georgia O’Keeffe thrived on their loneliness. She spent four years restoring a compound in New Mexico but the end result became a significant inspiration to her work.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Book tickets for his exhibition to experience the genius of Van Gogh — a truly invigorating experience.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, or need mental health support, there is a list of charity organisations that may be able to help here.



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