Artwork: Walking the line between insight and mania

I’ve been meditating since 2006 and have often had images appear that I paint or write poems about. But in the last 5 years as my bipolar began to become out of control my meditations sometimes became manic as I sought to cultivate states of bliss. This painting is a reminder to myself that simple breathing or walking meditations bring me calm and to be content with that.

Author: Phillippa

I love art - I’m a trained art historian and I make art and write poetry. I used to work for a museum but now I’m an administrator for a university. I am Buddhist and practice meditation and yoga. I’m married with two kids, one with special needs. I was diagnosed bipolar in early 2019 after being sectioned because of mania. I have struggled with depression throughout my life and experienced postnatal depression with both kids. The mania grew out of work related stress as I had to leave my museum job.

7 thoughts on “Artwork: Walking the line between insight and mania

  1. 6yearsgone says:

    i have never meditated however, i do look at blank canvas or pages or materials and close my eyes, then see something come from the either.
    i am happy for you that you have that outlet. thats an amzing piece and i do thank you for sharing it and your insight. thank you as well for the brief look into your life.

    Reply
    1. Phillippa Plock says:

      You’re very welcome. I think art has an amazing power to help us work through trauma and energy. Anyone can be an artist- start by doodling or making patches of colour with whatever you have to hand.

      Reply
      1. 6yearsgone says:

        100%! art is at times, something that people are just naturally gifted at, however, also a skill anyone can learn and it’s always open to the person viewing it. another example of it being taught is like in prison, many will pickup art as a way to make it through that life.
        i also enjoy making art, poems and music.
        looking forward to your next blog entry.

        Reply
  2. Jon says:

    Thanks for sharing Phillippa. I think us bipolar bears have a tendency towards creativity. My creative outlet is business problem solving. I also love to pick myself up by listening to stimulating music – sometimes hard rock / dance / trance, sometimes pop, sometimes slower more beautiful pieces. I was / am a huge Radiohead / Thom Yorke fan, but I’ve been limiting my exposure to more downbeat music in recent years.

    Reply
    1. Phillippa Plock says:

      Thanks Jon. Yes – creativity does go hand in hand with my mania. However, I find it really difficult to be creative when anxiety sets in – that’s how I’m feeling at the moment – it’s crazy how you do end up being a totally different person when you have different energy states. I guess the lesson is just to be kind to yourself whatever state you’re in!

      Reply
      1. Jon says:

        100% Phillippa – I often say to people that there are two Jons. I’m proud of one of them (creative, sociable, full of life, high on life). I dread being the other.

        Reply
  3. Rowan H. says:

    I think this is really beautiful—both the artwork and the sentiment behind it. I very much hope you’ve continued to make artwork that reminds you of the good things in your life. Please share more with us when/if you feel up to it!

    Reply

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