Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bipolar 3: Balance {an art quilt series} Quilt Festival version

Number three in my series of art quilts exploring strategies for dealing with Bipolar Disorder is my favorite thus far, so I decided to write another post explaining the art piece.

Finding balance in life is especially important to a patient with BD because we tend to express emotion in extremes. Mania is the euphoria that we feel when everything is good. Depression is the polar opposite, so it's those hurtful, negative feelings that occur when life hands us a few hard knocks. 

People with BD tend to feel their emotions on a grand, out-of-proportion scale. What is a difficult situation to most people may become a disastrous situation in the emotions of a BD patient. 

Finding balance helps to keep those overly emotional states in check. Note I said "helps." BD requires a doctor's care and, most often, medicine and therapy. But balancing work, family time, and relaxation can help to alleviate the feelings of urgency that BD brings on. Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are other ways of creating balance. 

This piece, like all of the works, has a dark and light side, each representing depression and mania, respectively. On the dark side is a small, almost black circle which represents that place in depression that is almost impossible to return from. Notice that the quilting runs right through this darkness as though it isn't there.
On the mania side are organic, wavy pieces of depression, showing that both can occur at the same time and at any time. The red circles are like balancing rocks, always about to tumble but somehow carefully balanced. Those circles are the things in life that we can balance, however difficult. 

I've carried the motifs of light/dark throughout the series. Always depression and mania are touching along a vertical, wavy line, never the same. That's because the two are impossible to predict. 
Another motif is that one darker area of depression which is in the same general area, but always changing. A third motif is the quilting--vertical lines that sway and wave and go around some objects, through some objects and are changed by other objects. 
Unpredictable. That's what BD is. Unpredictable and not easy to follow or track. Always moving and keeping just a step ahead--science, medicine, therapy, help. 

Visit the Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side to post your own quilt finish--but hurry because it ends tomorrow. Want some inspiration? See the 150 blogs posted so far! 


Lisa in Port Hope said...

I like how your piece has the balance -- balancing rocks, half-light half-dark...wishing you rainbows after each rain.

Karen S said...

Good to see your quilt being a part of the festival. Lovely to share your work around.

Nancy said...

This was such an interesting post to read because I have a friend with bipolar disorder (among other problems). Your post has explained to me what happens to her in much more detail than I ever understood from her. And your quilt is just perfect! Thank you.