Shannon Astrid Power
Creativity and Mental Illness
My graduating thesis examines the connections between creativity and mental illness, and interrogates whether creativity is a byproduct of mental illness.
As a mentally ill fruitcake from a low income background with a family full of mental illness, my research focuses on the popular trope that many great creative figures are also mentally ill. It examines the links between the subject matter of two artists commonly perceived to be “tortured geniuses” – Edvard Munch and Yayoi Kusama – and their personal problems. It concludes that these artists used their art as a form of self-therapy, thereby expressing a self-awareness of their mental illness.