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Mount Royal University students submitted these works of art in a contest to raise awareness around mental health issues. You voted on your favourite and the winners were "See, Hear, Speak No Stigma" and "Holding On." Congratulations!

The two winners will be featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Balance Magazine.



Title: See, Hear, Speak No Stigma

Winner #1

This piece portrays both the individual experience of mental illness as well as the negative societal attitudes associated with this issue. The frame consists of myths, enclosing all those with a mental illness into a group based on the misperceptions of society. The individual depicted is constrained by the hands of oppression, which represent the misperceptions of others. The ability to speak out, to be heard, and to be seen as a person beyond one’s illness is lost. The hands too represent a yearning for knowledge surrounding these illnesses, as well as a desire for understanding.



Title: The Expression of Depression

I suppose that my piece, “The Expression of Depression”, is meant to show some of the harsh and conflicting emotions present with depression or [in my mind] worse, the lack thereof. Each end displays an extreme to the emotions, while the middle stream reflects the more apathetical dull side that depression can place on our characters [and lives]. Certainly – this is somewhat a reflection of my own struggles. While my emotions usually relate to the more ‘blue’ spectrum of the picture, I myself, in more recent events, have found to be feeling the weight of depression and of having a more irritable character. However – the piece is more so supposed to reflect the possible ‘range’ of emotions reflected and perceived with depression – a general outlook onto the matter, more so then my own personal story. But if we were to take into consideration the relationship with labels on depression – I suppose this work could fairly represent all those judged as being emo.



Title: Have You Seen The Whole Picture

This poem is based on the idea of assumptions and was made by altering my own photographs of images that I felt demonstrated perspective and isolation. The mishmash of various puzzle pieces and the missing piece of the puzzle is a statement about people’s ability to see the big picture and know that it is still limited at that. The poem itself incorporates a few different ways that I have witnessed disaffection for the mentally ill and the stigmas attached to people in need.



Title: The Gilded Façade

Original art piece, showcasing issues leading up to and during a form of clinical depression. The meaning behind each item on the canvas is significant to me, personally, in some ways as I have struggled with issues in my past and gained strength through those obstacles. The golden (gilded) face decorated represents a person’s “potential” of greatness and façade to the world outside, decorated with partial peacock plumes, showing confidence. The Golden wire represents decoration, but also shows the feeling of being held back at the same time. But inside, shows the struggle, each word representing either a cause or effect towards mental illness, depression in general. The left side of the painting is more structured in the geometrical pattern, and the right side represents unraveling chaos. The forks are representative of the brains attempt to “pick through” these ideas and make sense of them, and also the stabbing dull pain it can cause in doing so.



Title: The Spectrumind

Just because you have depression does not mean that you have to be every color but your own. I dedicate this drawing to my mom, who overcome the onset of depression. Ever since our family became broken, she was the supporting fortress that held everyone together. By trusting God to get us through the tragedy, she set an inspiring example not only for me but for those who look up to her. I am incredibly thankful for her ability to be herself despite the unpleasant circumstances in which she had no choice but to be superficially “happy”. Her ‘color’ prevailed!


Title: Holding On

Winner #2

The most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, was the helping hand of another concerned with my welfare at a time when I myself could have cared less about my life. I have been fighting depression since I was born. The only thing worse than struggling with never ending sadness is hearing the labels some people use to describe me or someone else with mental illness.
Aberrant. Odd. Peculiar. Strange. Deviant. Malformed.

We are people. We have responsibilities and obligations just like everyone else. All we ask is for a bit of patience when we are engaged in the search for our inner balance. Isn’t that what every human seeks?


This contest is brought to you in partnership with Mount Royal University Peer Health Education. The winner will be published in Balance Magazine and receive gift cards!

"In Sight & In Mind would like to thank the Mount Royal University Bookstore for their generous prize donation."

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