Artist and writer, or writer and artist. Performer and (according to a man who shouted from passing car) F**KING WEIRDO. Jack of all trades, master of some. I am based, divide my time and work. http://www.alistairgentry.net London
When artist and writer Alistair Gentry first shared his experiences of depression earlier this year it resulted in a flood of private feedback and led a-n to commission a series on artists and mental health for our Resources section. Drawing on the conversations he’s had with artists and arts workers, he argues for more openness about mental illness and wellness in the arts.
Do the pressures of being an artist, with the precariousness of funding, the demands of unrealistic deadlines and the need to be seen to succeed and deliver consistently, make talking about depression and mental health tantamount to career suicide? Artist and writer Alistair Gentry, who has suffered with depression since a teenager, thinks the answer is ‘Yes’ – but that the issue is too important to keep quiet about.