The relationship between creativity and our mental wellbeing is often stereotyped and generalised. Assumptions are made about the impact of symptoms on the creative mind and the negative effects of mental ill health romanticised.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddall all experienced mental illness during their lifetimes and the highly mythologised death of Elizabeth Siddall illustrates the ways in which narratives of illness can overshadow a creative career. She is often remembered in his story as a tragic muse rather than an artist and poet.
Inspired by the lived experiences of the artists exhibiting in The Rossettis this discussion will seek to explore how can we best support artists and art workers who experience poor mental health and mental illness, the therapeutic role can art play and explore how should we represent mental health conditions in art histories.