I was used to think the good picture needs no comments.It should talk itself. Yet I was under a delusion. The photo “paper riddle” helped me to grasp that. So let’s look again. What we see are two paper swans on a bookshelf . We may enjoy these paper crafts or not, but our emotions would show nothing if without the following information: these swans were made not by the artists but the patients of the hospital for people with psychiatric disorders. Art therapydidn’t display any destructive colors or the challenging shapes, but the peaceful warmth of paper creations…now the swans look otherwise, isn’t it? So knowledge of the truth made the paper swans a riddle. Do we enjoy what we see or what we think about what we know?
Smile in Disguise according to Tomas Karkalas from Klaipeda, Lithuania
“When you look for the good in others, you discover the best in yourself.”
~ Martin Walsh
The windows hide people with the psychiatric disorders from the well-groomed passersby. The case-histories absorb the stories of the wish to be and lock the passions in a secret of the stifling archives behind bars. The heavy silence would reign if not theart therapy …- have a look at the jolly colors below, at the smile in disguise. This picture was made by a patient who didn’t call himself the artist, but silently inhabited the space under the window. I couldn’t pass by so took my camera…
It is good if everybody has a chance to talk, yet that only doubled the pain because nobody listened.
As we realize our problems as the misunderstandings, the conflict hurts doubly: the understanding of the meaninglessness of our passions colour up everything as the futility. That increased my despair and led to the hospital for people with the psychiatric disorders in Klaipeda. So I appeared in the art therapy class…Wow! Love was reigning there. The mental hospital was a school of love. I took my camera and became the participant of the class.
My eyes were captured by the Molar King… freedom from the attachments means not the wings, but the blindness to the talents God gave to us.
Many are afraid to greet people with the psychiatric disorders, and such mindset hurts the most. It hurts not only the rejected but the world because the prejudices rob people of their freedom to smile and put them into the slavery to the cunning standards of beauty.
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly — Lao Tzu
A pile of drawings lay on a table in a wait of the somebody attention. I had to choose what to pic up to represent the art therapy class for people with the psychiatric disorders. That was the hard task because each picture had its own charm, but ultimately the image you see on above made my choice. These lines attracted me, and I made a shot. Now I had to say something, to explain the cause of my interest. Thus I recalled the quote:
While looking at this waterbird I saw not a work of a sculpture but the embedded process of its creation. That must be something like example to follow to us , I think. Have a look at the photo that was taken in the mental hospital . Not pain but love melted into the ceramics there , and that brought a smile to my face. Therefor I took a photo . I didn’t know its author, but one thing was the obvious: people with the psychiatric disorders were the bearers of love .
As art therapy relate to mental health , so it is the hospital activity that involves the patients with various disabilities , but I’m convinced that we all could benefit from it. Art therapy visitors are the patients who do not name themselves the artists, they just pug the love. Is that not a dream of all humanity?
I guess you wonder how this magic shot was taken, so here is a story.
While wandering around my town I came to the scenery that could not pass by. A huge stump stopped me. I was stopped not by the tree but its remnants. They looked like the portrait of me, therefore I didn’t fear the bars that dangled in front of the passersby anymore. The door stood waiting for me and I stepped in. I entered an art therapy room where people with psychiatric disorders were sitting around the table and drawing a sun.
Wow! Love inhabited a tiny room: the lights of the lovely drawings on the dark walls and this handicraft on a table dazzled me. I took my camera and stuff for a sharing such way appeared.
Life behind the bars did not allure, but the works of mentally ill sat me in awe. The documentary photograph „Copy of Copy“ stands like a sentinel over the sunbeam. It pleases the eye but does not allow me to close in the self-satisfaction amidst the fellow artists.