Rae Morgan, a mental health advocate, writer and storyteller, created these pieces while she was hospitalized in an outpatient program with bipolar disorder. She says she wasn’t a painter before going to the hospital, and she doesn’t paint much now. “It was just something I was inspired to do there. It was a traumatic experience and art can definitely be therapeutic.”
She mentioned that this piece represents the duality of moods. Regarding how these states felt for her, she says:
“Well when I was manic, it was like I was high, life felt dream-like. I wasn’t aware of how awful things were until I came down. I wanted to make art because it was my first time being officially diagnosed with bipolar, and I had heard bipolar people can be very creative. Although I’m not sure how true that is, it did make me feel a little better about my new diagnosis. I thought these were so amazing when I was manic or coming down from mania. It’s funny to see how the lens can be so different in different brain states.” She spoke about the fluctuations of moods she felt during this time.
She continues, “in the hospital, I wanted to be an abstract painter and had a delusion I would be famous, with the crying portrait as my debut.” Now, she doesn’t think too highly of these creations.
A theme for Rae was feeling a sense of duality, which inspired her to create this piece of the moon dividing the water into two sides.
With one half having more of a shadow, she portrays how she feels the light and dark sides of the moon, symbolizing for her this spectrum of femininity.
Rae Morgan writes about OCD, generalized anxiety, bipolar disorder, and complex PTSD.
If you would like to read about the work that she is doing, her personal website is: https://www.raemshane.com
Feature Image: Iulia Mihailov, on Unsplash, Creative Commons