Exhibition reveals ‘inner struggle’ of Porthcawl artist

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

By Tim Chapman
in Local People

A debut exhibition by a young Porthcawl artist is creating a stir because of the way her art works examine mental health issues.

Cerys Knighton, aged 23, who suffers from bipolar disorder, is exhibiting at Insole Court in Cardiff until February 16.

Cerys has sometimes experienced depressive periods lasting for up to a year.

“I think the ongoing nature of episodes is something that people are often surprised to hear, because the term bipolar has become attached to ideas of quick and erratic mood changes.

“One of my aims with my art is to raise awareness of the reality of the illness.

“I try to do so by depicting different symptoms, particularly those that people are often less familiar with, such as hallucinations, dissociation, sensory overload and cognitive dysfunction.”

In a sense art has become Cerys’s saviour. She becomes absorbed in creating pieces using the ‘pointillism’ method – making an image out of thousands of individual dots.

“It is the biggest help for me in the day to day management of this mental illness.

“The pieces can take hours and hours because of all the individual dots, so even if I’m in a bad way and I’m not entirely secure in my own sense of reality, in that time I can become completely absorbed in drawing.

“I feel a sense of achievement because of all of the work that goes into each piece.

“In terms of my work, my preferred medium is pen and ink, so I create the art pieces using just ink dots.

“On top of that, art has become a means of communication.

“Even this time last year I struggled so much to talk openly about ways in which I was struggling – to a point where even many of my closest friends didn’t know I was unwell in any way.

“While I struggled to vocalise these things, I found a means of self-expression through art in which I could communicate these emotional states to myself.”

“Now I can also share them with others, and I hope visiting the exhibition will help people understand aspects of manic-depressive illness.”

Pick up The Bridgend Gem this week for more on this story.

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