Don’t turn away from the bandaged place, that is where light enters you. ~Rumi
My Mother’s Keeper is an exhibition featuring the work of 22 women, all daughters of mothers who suffer from mental illness. Whether the illness has a diagnostic label like depression, schizophrenia, addiction, or bipolar disorder, or is described in hushed tones as a nervous breakdown, insanity, or dark night of the soul, mental illness can wreak havoc on a daughter’s life with the force of a natural disaster.
The experience can also be transformative. Coping with a mother’s mental illness can promote empathy, strengthen resilience, summon creativity, and enable a woman to access untapped wisdom. In this exhibit daughters provoke us, surprise us, entrust us, and enlighten us about their mother’s struggle with mental illness: What it has meant to them and what they have lost or gained while living with it.
Workshops and events that will accompany My Mother’s Keeper throughout the month of May will include a live reading with writers who have addressed this topic on Tuesday May 15, a writing workshop on Thursday May 17, and art making workshops to support the theme.
This exhibit is made possible through a collaboration with Intensive Family Support Services of the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc., in acknowledgement of Mental Health Awareness Month, and in honor of Mother’s Day. Information about resources for family members of loved ones with mental illness will be made available throughout the course of the exhibit.
The exhibit will open with a reception for the public (some of the artists will be in attendance) on Friday May 4 from 5 - 8 PM. It is a free event. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will be on display through June 4.