Art against Stigma
- By: Thomas Mac Mahon
Its organisers describe Art against Stigma as the first programme in the world to introduce art created by people with psychiatric disorders on the same standing as professional artists. Until now, they maintain that collections of art by people with mental illnesses were kept in museums or hospitals and segregated from the mainstream. This exhibition integrates those two sectors and consists of 62 paintings, 52 of which were created by people with mental illnesses.
Launched in Copenhagen in October 2003, the programme has three main aims. Most importantly, it hopes to act as an alternative channel of communication for people who have difficulties expressing their feelings and inner thoughts, thereby building their self confidence. As Ewa Kuryluk, a Polish painter involved in art programmes for psychiatric patients in Warsaw, put it, “Out of this upheaval in the brain comes something very fresh, very original.”
The programme is also designed to