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Mental Health and Art

My love for art started at a very young age. I was fortunate enough that my parents and my fashion designer aunt, Babs Krüger, saw potential and encouraged me to persist in what I was doing. Art for me was a means to escape, always being a loner rather than a social personality.

Because I value the role of art as a way of expression, I gave lessons at a centre for quadriplegics and as therapy for underage rape victims. I believe that art as communication can reach deeper and more profound than any words.

Ironically, when I needed art as a tool the most, I couldn't use it. I lost my son and my youngest brother to suicide three years apart. Grief paralysed me, and I put my brushes down for almost a decade.

In 2018 I was commissioned by The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, UK, and that took me out of my self imposed Sabbatical.

Being a self-appointed advocate for mental health, I decided to put my 'face where my mouth is'. Thanks to the proper medication, I can function as a creative again. So, instead of only preaching, this is my statement:

- I am a sufferer of depression. I am NOT depressed.

- I also honour this illness because it makes me see and look at things differently.

- It made me explore the unknown and go on journeys I would never have had done if I were just a 'happy chappy.'

- I have a great sense of humour.

- I have colossal tolerance, acceptance and compassion for most people.

- It made me a courageous person despite delipidating anxiety

Since lockdown, I have created the best work of my career. After the tragic loss of my only son, I felt like an alien in my own skin and in society. For 12 years, I had to wear a metaphorical mask to pretend that I was a functioning human being. But when Covid and its restrictions became part of our lives, I felt strangely comfortable and as if the world was on the same page as me now. As a result, I have experienced a creative surge and started experimenting with digital software. I now see myself as an Interdisciplinary artist because I love to combine traditional methods with digital technology.

My main focus for content is usually issues around injustice, mental health and children's rights. But, of course, with that comes the global refugee crisis too.

Regarding my future as an artist who focuses on creating awareness about certain aspects of life, I have learned not to think too far ahead. I trust that my passion will resonate with my global audience and make them look AND see. There are few things more satisfying to me than when someone gets back to me and confess that a particular work touched them deeply.

Lize Krüger

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