Mandala: Hypomania, depression and The Horrible Crowes


‘And there was blood on my teeth
From the long winter here
Bones broke in half
A stain on my shirt
From a couple hours out with the boys’

I’ve truly been overwhelmed by all of the support on my post yesterday, thank you all so much. I wanted to wait to post the finished mandala after having posted about the collection so I could give a more honest explanation about the piece.

As I mentioned in the timelapse, this is my first try at a mandala and it is mainly influenced by one of my favourite albums: Elsie by The Horrible Crowes. Although mandalas are mainly symmetrical, I wanted to try something a little bit different; so, although it is symmetrical from certain perspectives, each side has two halves. This is because I wanted to make it almost have the appearance of movement, making it more of a wheel than a circle. The songs on Elsie remind me of so many things, mainly Gar because of the songbook he made me, but it also reminds me of two severe episodes on both ends of the spectrum.

‘And all good things come to an end
And all memory has left my bones’

The song Cherry Blossoms particularly reminds me of the change between episodes, which is why I put a few branches of cherry blossoms running through the middle of the mandala, both tampering with the symmetry and creating the idea of natural change and movement: the flowers growing before the petals fall. Even though episodes are so long – hypomania tending to be three or four months and depression anywhere from six months to eighteen months – because of the constant movement and absence of complete normality between major episodes I never feel like I completely settle in myself, because I’m constantly looking for warning signs and managing symptoms. I wanted to capture that fragile sense of movement in this piece, each tiny pattern speaking to fragments of episodes.

‘Snow tumbling down on the ground
And me stumbling out of my heart
Finding cherry blossoms of the hood of my car.’

Thank you for reading 🙂

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