Welsh actor, writer and musician, Boyd Clack has lent his support to the proposed Welsh mental health arts festival, saying ‘It’s a fine idea and support it wholeheartedly’.
Boyd has also provided us with his thoughts on the arts, creativity and mental health…
“Madness has no pluses. If it did it wouldn’t be madness. It is a relentless hell. It is also incredibly intense. People in the grip of paranoid schizophrenia will often deliberately stop taking medication, that alleviates the symptoms, because they miss the intensity. The sane world is so mundane in comparison to the dark cartoon world of their madness that they are drawn back to it.
There is a long history of madness being expressed through the arts. Great writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, August Strindberg and Robert Lowell have used their experiences of madness to create great works of literature, Nijinsky in dance, Van Gogh and many others in painting, the list is long and prestigious. We cannot all be such geniuses but we can, if so inspired, use our own experiences of mental illness to create art. To create from something so destructive is a weapon to fight it with. To say from this horror I will create unimaginable beauty. It gives the sufferer an area of control. In demonology it is regarded as a great advantage to know the name of the demon.
Artists can do more, they can expose the demon in all his ugliness. They can ridicule him. It is possible to dance in other worlds, to play the music of the spheres and to perform dramas on the stages of heaven and hell. It is not our fault that we are mad. The world is ruled by illogic, superstition and fear. Love to you all. If you can reach out, do so. You will not be alone.”