During a journey of several years through severe depression I was forced to confront my vulnerability as a human being. Poetic expression presented itself to me as an outlet for creative catharsis alongside my painting and photography. Together they provided a means of reframing my traumatic experiences and of expressing the emergence of the first buds of recovery and hope. In 2006 after being discharged from hospital for the second time, I was offered the chance of a solo exhibition of my photography and poems which I called “A Carnival of Colour”. I went public about its themes and was overwhelmed by the public reaction as people came up to me with their own lived experiences. Two such people planted a seed at that show, namely to think about publishing in order to help other people. In 2007 I pursued the idea but was met with patronising comments like: “Maybe you should just content yourself to reading it to family and friends..” Fortunately I was in a good place to reply: “I’ve been led to believe there is a larger audience out there!” I sent my work to several publishers and received very few replies. Those that came back encouraged me to study the contemporary poetic styles. Much of my poetic work is raw and unpolished, an unfurling of streams of consciousness. That is its very strength and power as it cuts through to the human level in every reader who is open to receive its messages.
In 2008, ironically through relapsing and back in hospital I asked my brother to bring in the more hope-filled poems to read to fellow patients by way of peer support. One lady in hospital knew a relative in the printing trade who has sponsored my book, published in January this year. “The Journey Home” describes my return to the root of my birth authenticity as an artist and its essence is primarily one of hope that people can and do recover their lives and rebuild their futures even following severe mental illness.
I am very fortunate to have been blessed with believers.
For more information and to order a copy online please visit my web site.