A sculpture depicting the stigma that surrounds mental health is on display at the Oriel in Wrexham.
The all white sculpture, which is on display at the Oriel until October 19th, is the latest creation from local artist Mark Roberts, who is also known as ‘Markrobla’.
Markrobla, who also works for mental health help line C.A.L.L., made the sculpture from plaster and tape. In total the piece took around two weeks to complete and contains a have a message that can be easily overlooked at a first glance. However upon closer inspection it is clear to see the word ‘STIGMA’ written on the sculpture’s wrist.
The artwork was created to inspire debate, through art, on the subject and although depicting self harm many local people who have viewed it have their own perspective – some felt it was about being homeless, some about begging and possibly a reflection on how the economy is impacting on people.
Mark Roberts said: “The piece is about the stigma that surrounds mental health. The figure self-harmed and cut the word ‘stigma’ into his arm as a release of his feeling.
“The piece has had a good emotional response, a girl from work cried when she saw it.”
The piece isn’t the first that Markrobla has designed to create debate, with pieces surrounding homelessness and post-traumatic stress being place around the town over the past few months.
In recent weeks there have been a number of high-profile media reports surrounding the representation of mental health. The first incident was the depiction of a ‘mental patient’ that went on sale in several nationwide stores as well as online and has since been removed due to a negative response. Just a few days ago there was a story on the front page of The Sun newspaper which had the headline ’200 killed by mental patients’.
The Wrexham based mental health help line C.A.L.L. has also joined in with the recent media debate around the stigma of mental illness.
Janet Roberts, help line Manager said “The recent attention on stigma and how these costumes impacted on people who live with mental ill-health has enabled us to follow on from our World Suicide Prevention Week campaign. The campaign message was about removing stigma and offering compassion and hope to people.
“To have such a talented artist working with us has helped raise the issue in a very novel way. The sculpture is making people stop in their tracks as they approach it and hopefully begins a process of thinking about what it means to them, their family, work colleagues and friends. CALL is pleased to offer its support to this campaign, its important to let people know that there are people who want to help even when they may feel at their most helpless.”
This article seemed quite fitting to put up today as it is World Mental Health Awareness Day, a day which is all about raising awareness of mental health and breaking down the stigma that surrounds it.
To take part in today’s discussion on Mental Health Awareness by using the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthAwarenessDay