Spartanburg man using art to raise mental health awareness

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s like a Halloween house of horrors, a gallery of screaming monsters. Each one is terrifying and all too real.

Spartanburg artist Bailie’s new exhibit depicts the demons of disease, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and dissociative personality disorder.

“This is their disease,” Bailie said.

There are sculptures, representations of invisible struggles intended to shock and frighten and teach. Each is the result of interviews with people fighting mental illness. Including a version of the artist’s own trauma.

“Here’s the anger which I fought with my whole life,” he said pointing to a representation of his own illness, “here’s the sadness which I fought with my whole life. Eventually the anger takes over because you don’t want to be known as a sad cry kinda guy.” Bailie says he suffers from PTSD, a remnant of childhood abuse.

“This is the trauma wall, mom and dad, represented in a house with no color,” he said.

Bailie said his PTSD was so crippling he’d be unable to create. It was therapy that unlocked his mind and his art. A wall of “scribble man” designs, each torn from a personal journal, reflect the lessons of the therapy itself. “I’ve never told anybody the things I’ve told my therapist,” he said.

“In the Midst of A Trauma” is a 42 piece exhibit on display now at the Artists Collective in Spartanburg. Bailie said the exhibit was extended through June 26.

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