In the episode, “A Discussion On Psychosis, Lived Experience, and Creativity with Artist John F. Gerrard, Author of "We Make Clocks, Not Time" (S3, E12), John opens the conversation about this largely misunderstood headspace by sharing his personal story and what he learned coming out on the other side of psychosis. We discuss John’s book, We Make Clocks, Not Time: My Lived Experience with Psychosis, Creativity, and the Ideas That Have Helped Me, opening up the conversation on an array of philosophical questions regarding psychosis and mental illness, from self-determination and free will, to the romanticization of the tortured artist, to the essential self, to the language of labels, to rethinking God.
With the message that there is no shame in psychosis, that lived experience matters, and that creativity can be an integral part of our mental health, John also discusses some strategies that have worked for him in his own recovery. Describing psychosis as connecting to something larger than life, John harnesses elusive topics like what is the nature of delusion, the mystery of dreams, and the subtle differences found in psychotic experiences compared to those that are spiritual in nature. John brings philosophy into the conversation about extreme mental states and stresses that just because something is not commonly experienced among the norm, doesn’t make it pathological.
John is a multidisciplinary artist, with a focus on visual art. In his teens and 20s he was active creatively as a musician, touring across North America and playing locally. He also did graphic design work for bands and small businesses. John was trained by the Canadian Mental Health Association as a peer support worker. Since then, he’s been developing his art practice with mental health advocacy work. He has also worked with Branch Out Neurological Foundation, making images based on interactions with neuroscientists, and taking part in their charity events for three years now. In 2019 he had my first international show in Chicago as a part of the Some People Everybody exhibition. This multidisciplinary project examines the ethics, people, processes, and systems that constitute the maintenance of, and barriers to, health for human beings.
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or on his website at: https://www.johnfgerrard.com/
Buy the Book, We Make Clocks, Not Time: My Lived Experience with Psychosis, Creativity, and the Ideas That Have Helped Me:
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