Promo image: Gallery: Cerys Knighton - Drawing Bipolarity

Gallery: Cerys Knighton - Drawing Bipolarity

Where: Stable Yard Gallery
When: Tuesday 9th January - Friday 16th February

Open every day 10am - 4pm

A young artist from South Wales, who lives with bipolar disorder, is hoping her first solo exhibition will help people gain a better understanding of the condition. Cerys Knighton’s ‘Drawing Bipolarity’ is sixteen pieces of fine art work, each created through a form of ink work known as pointillism, which is creating texture and an image with a series of dots. In the case of Cerys’ work, each item can contain thousands of dots, built up over many hours, to create the final image.

The 23-year-old, from Porthcawl, began creating her dot work pieces over the last two years. Cerys created artwork from a young age, but after beginning university lost touch with drawing. As she continued to struggle with her mental illness, Cerys realised just how much of a support art had been in the day to day management of bipolar disorder. She set herself a goal to start drawing again for her wellbeing.

Cerys’ artwork is also inspired by her postgraduate research at Cardiff University, as well as her own experiences of bipolar disorder. During her Masters degree, she began researching within the field of medical humanities. Cerys was surprised to find such little work looking at manic-depressive illness. She hoped to start addressing this gap in research with her Masters thesis, which considered representations of manic-depressive illness in the nineteenth century by examining archival medical cases from hospitals and medical journals concurrently with literary texts. Cerys hopes to continue this research at PhD level, and to create public engagement with findings from the research by continuing to exhibit her artwork.

Cerys says “Now that I have a greater understanding both of myself and of this illness, I try to visually recreate symptoms of manic-depressive illness to create awareness. For a time I had stopped creating art altogether, but returning to drawing has been invaluable in finding self-worth and a sense of safety. It can be so hard to put symptoms into words and, if you have never experienced it, it must be so hard to imagine what it’s like to lose your own consciousness and sense of reality. For me, visually depicting experiences hopes to bridge that gap, to make it easier for me to explain, and more accessible for others to understand.”

Cerys has been supported by Making Minds, a voluntary organisation that explores mental health through the arts and creativity. Mark Smith, chair of Making Minds, said “Art can spark conversations, raise awareness and get people to think differently like nothing else can. This is particularly important as far as mental health is concerned. Cerys’ exhibition is exciting for numerous reasons, but we hope her journey and experiences will help others gain a better understanding of certain issues and where we’ve come from in society, in terms of mental health treatment and how people perceive those with conditions such as bipolar disorder.”

An event will be held on Friday 26th January as part of the exhibition, with Cerys being joined by experts from Cardiff University and the National Centre for Mental Health. Cerys will discuss how her art depicts both her own experiences of bipolar disorder and her postgraduate research, considering manic-depressive illness in the nineteenth century. For tickets and more information please click here..

For further information on Cerys, please visit her blog site, on Facebook at

Cerys has also taken part in a Bipolar UK project called 80/20

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