Facing the Demons

drawing of a knitted boat, with two full moons in the top-left hand part of the drawing

Knitting Time cover drawing [C] Colin Hambrook 2013

It’s been hard-going, but enjoyable bringing Knitting Time into being. Ultimately, it feels like the right thing to do – to finally face the demons. I’ve been blessed in the way the project has opened up discussions within my family – having written a short memoir about my formative years and expressing something of the grief that has been locked up inside driving me into madness all these years.

I’m happy with a cover drawing I’ve done for the book. I’ve got 24 drawings so far that I think are fit for the publication which is in the process of coming together over the coming week or so. I’ve uploaded the drawings into a gallery at http://www.outsidein.org.uk/colin-Hambrook

My project Knitting Time is my attempt to tell something of my life story through artwork and poetry. I want to use the project to open up a wider discussion about grief and loss and the way it impacts on mental health. Societies taboos on talking about the difficult or impossible situations that life presents ends up with the victimization of individuals by the mental health system with coercion into taking dangerous medication, which bring on a whole host of other health problems in the name of ‘helping’.

The statistics on what constitutes a mental illness are getting alarmingly wider. In the USA the number of people officially diagnosed with a mental illness – as recorded by journalist Robert Whitaker – has gone from 1 in 300 of the population to 1 in 72 over a period of 20 years. It won’t be long before every thought process will have a clinical diagnosis, based on the Bible of Psychiatry – the DSM-5. In the latest version that’s been released this month, bereavement is now officially a mental illness as the previous Bereavement Exclusion clause has now been removed.

I would welcome any comments and feedback as the project develops.

About Knitting Time: art and poetry on the theme of psychosis

'Knitting Time: a journey through loss' is a poetry and visual arts project reflecting on the theme of art and psychosis. A book and exhibition of the work is due to be launched at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex on 10 October 2013 to celebrate World Mental Health Day. During this research and development phase I want to gather responses, thoughts, recollections and comments, so please fill in my surveymonkey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F2MN2MT and add your let me know what you think? Or feel free to email me via knitting-time [at] btinternet.com
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One Response to Facing the Demons

  1. detrich says:

    I followed the link to the gallery and really enjoyed being there

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