Last week, I was reading some stuff on the Brain Pickings website, and I read an article about a project that merges art and awareness. Part of the title describes the project well: “Drawings Illuminating the Everyday Realities of Life with Mental Illness.” The project is called “Project 1 in 4.”
The project website says that 26.2 percent of American adults – 1 in 4 people – suffer from a diagnosable condition, and describes the project this way:
“Project 1 in 4 is a daily exploration of the everyday struggles presented by mental illness. Because banishing the stigma of mental illness starts with awareness, and awareness begins with education, mindfulness and empathy.”
I really like the art and perspective that artist Marissa Betley uses to showcase things that have been said to her in interviews. The drawings, simple black-and-white sketches, are powerful in the messages they convey.
I contacted Betley via email to thank her for doing this, to praise her work, and to ask if I could be of any assistance. I think the intersection of art and awareness is great and thought-provoking, and I think her drawings are wonderful.
Betley replied with very kind words, and asked about using a quote from a recent blog post as part of her art/awareness project, which I gladly agreed to.
For Day 49 of the project, she paraphrased this quote from that post: “When those times hit, I would get reclusive. I would withdraw. I didn’t want to be social. I didn’t want to be around anyone.”