Emotion and Discussion: The Piece of Mind Exhibition

May 1st-30 2013 | Opening Reception – May 8th 2013

In the address of Dr. Cindy Weisbart at the packed Awards Ceremony of last Friday’s opening night of the Piece of Mind art exhibition, Dr. Weisbart mentioned the courage of the artists for taking on the topic of what mental health meant to them. And it was the courage of the artists that inspired the discussions of those attending the event.

I was volunteering at the event and had the pleasure of talking to people from all walks of life about the works of art around the Moat Gallery. Some paintings evoked conversations about the uniqueness of perception and invisible disorders, while others got people talking about the medicalization of cognition and the art of interpreting neuroimaging data. Photographs and sculptures elicited conversations about mood disorders and stigmatization. And those were just conversations that I overheard or took part in. The gallery was a field of icebreaking conversation starters; it inspired emotion and facilitated discussion between strangers that we rarely (unfortunately) talk about between friends, or even ourselves.

Beyond the success of that goal of the event, to begin a conversation on what mental health means to different people, there was the success of the art itself. Three winners of the night were Pongsakorn Yananissorn from Emily Carr, Kimberly Nipp from UBC and Allison Chow from Emily Carr. In a previous interview, Pongsakorn said that his art, a sculpture and photography series, helped him de-stress and a way to provide peace to the mind. His cloud sculpture specifically was a representation of stress and how nature can be a centering force when combating anxiety.

The event was important because it helped facilitate conversation. Opportunities and platforms like this not only make people reconsider their own psychological well-being, but also let us imagine others complexly and takes steps against the dangers of stigmatization. As a volunteer at the event and someone who is passionate about the mental health discourse in our culture, I would like to thank the team of organizers and the rest of the volunteers that made the night so great. Hopefully the BCPA and other organizations like it will have future events building on the success of the POM exhibition.

You can check out the exhibit for this whole month of May at the Moat Art Exhibit in Library Plaza.

Have you been to see Piece of Mind? Continue the spirit of the exhibition by beginning a discussion in the comments about your favourite piece in the show and what it made you think about!

Author: Alyssah Pointon

Gallery

Artists

Wesley Horsfall: “Electrochromaencephalography” (Painting)
Brianna Klassen: “Bodymind” (Painting)
Jane Sojin Kim: “Veiled” (Painting)
Pam Powley: “Bodily Mass” (Illustration)
Danielle Caners: “Wave Rider” (Painting)
Kimberly Nipp: “Speak” (Visual)
Carina Wong: “Light My Way” (Illustration)
Nicole Jang: “The Head vs. Heart: Objects for the Depressed Lifestyle (Industrial Design)
Pongsakorn Yananissorn: “Look Up” (Sculpture)