Art a dose of therapy for turmoil

Albany Advertiser
Artist Bronz Brown with some of his work.
Camera IconArtist Bronz Brown with some of his work.

Art gives Bronz Brown hope — even amid “darkness and chaos” — and he wants to share that hope with his community.

Brown has spoken from the heart about his journey with bipolar disorder, opening a window into his experience with the condition through his second solo exhibition, I Love You, I Love You Too, 4, 8, 16.

He said the exhibition aimed to spark conversations about the challenges of living with mental health conditions.

“I just want to create beauty and meaning out of the devastation that can be caused during my manic episodes,” Brown said.

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“Some of the works have gone through a 20-year process of destruction and rebirth, much like the turmoil of rebuilding your life after experiencing a break with reality.

“After a manic episode, it can be painful to witness the aftermath of pain and hurt my behaviour has caused others.

“It’s no wonder people living with bipolar disorder have a 15 per cent increased risk of committing suicide.

“It’s a heart-wrenching fact that it can become too much for some people living with bipolar disorder to put the pieces back together again.”

Brown said one of the hardest parts of living with a mental health condition was when it became too much for a loved one to handle, but the exhibition was also about celebrating what could be made out of his “journey into darkness and chaos”.

“If I didn’t have art to make meaning from my life, I would be in a very different place,” he said.

“It gives me hope and I want to share the good aspects of this with the community.

“Bipolar disorder has a strong link with creativity and there is a way to grow and make something of value out of the pieces if you’re strong enough.”

I Love You, I Love You Too, 4, 8, 16opens at 1pm on Saturday in the front gallery at Vancouver Arts Centre, and will run until March 22.

The launch will feature live music by Xave Brown and other local musicians, a Q&A with the artist, and a fashion exhibition by Denmark designer Kirren Maddigan.

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