With a delay of one week due to bad weather conditions and my physical sickness, at the last weekend I was able to visit an exhibition of paintings by people hospitalized in the mental hospital of my town, which is now closed, from 1960 to 1980. An art collective was created within the medical stucture to emphasize the therapeutic function of art.
My mother started to work in 1978 as a doctor in that mental hospital, during the night. She always tells me that she was so inexperienced and awed by people that she used to lock herself in the studio, even there was no real danger in the contact with patients.
Better to let the pictures speak, but I leave for you some provocative questions, with the hope that we can all have a discussion on my Facebook page, in this specific post.
What is normality? What is abnormality?
Is our deliberate judgement or assumption that marks the line of separation between sane and insane, or do we need a medical certification?
If I say that trees speak to me, and I hear their voices, will you think that I am a fool and I require medical treatment or will you simply think that I’ve watched too many New Age videos?
Every single person who lived in that mental hospital had a story, that somehow the Story, the one with the capital letter, has neglected and canceled.
They had hopes. Maybe they loved Christmas, they loved looking at the snow flakes falling.
Did they dance under the rain?
I feel relief when I think that painting might have brought to them some awareness of the feelings they wanted to represent, as art is always, and I underline always, intentional, since the dawn of times.
A selection of the artwork follows, but you can find all the pictures uploaded in this Facebook post. I’ll also go live to give you a global overview of the experience!!!!