Burning by Cassandra Yanez-Leyton

Burning by Cassandra Yanez-Leyton

Winner of the van Gogh (High School Students) category at the 2014 Brain & Mental Health Art Show.

People who are victim of some kind of mental health problem live through a slow deterioration of the brain. For example, every time a person with schizophrenia has a nervous breakdown, a portion of his or her brain cells die. The brain is a fragile constituent of the body which is why mental health problems can cause serious limitations to a person whether it affects the body or the thinking process. I took this picture of my sister as a representation of what a damaged brain would feel (as odd as that concept sounds). The black body suit is used to create a tense and dark atmosphere; it also takes attention away from the body as the black kind of merges with the background whereas the caution tape, brings the viewer’s attention specifically to the area of the brain. The caution tape also represent’s the brain’s stage of deterioration and as a construction site instead of a finished building. Finally, the smoke represents frustration and perhaps even anger. However, it is crucial to note that it is not my intention whatsoever to portray people with mental health problems as dangerous or threatening despite the dark mood created by the picture. My artwork is simply my visual interpretation of the struggle that a person dealing with a mental health problem goes through.

One comment

  1. Very expressive. Nice work. Congratulations!

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