Dr Susannah Ward

Have you ever tried to verbally express how anxiety manifests in your body and mind?  Have you ever wondered how other’s experience anxiety, if at all?

An anxious state manifests as multiple fleeting and changing physical sensations, cognitions and internal emotions.  One person’s experience of anxiety may differ profoundly to another’s and even within themselves.  Often an anxious state is semiconscious or subconscious, which makes it even harder to notice and explain.

I find it almost impossible to articulate this complex and dynamic experience into simple words, which can make sharing my experience of anxiety with others difficult to do. Sometimes words cannot express things so intricate as human emotion.  Artistic expression is a beautiful alternative means of communication, which draws on so much more than just spoken word to convey its’ message.  Expressing emotions, sharing challenging feelings and using art to do so are valuable wellness skills.

This June in Sydney The Black Dog Institute and Vivid have collaborated to create a light sculpture installation to visually depict the emotions and sensations experienced by those living with anxiety.  ‘Landscape of the Mind’ features bodymaps crafted from real-life participants, which reflect the multifaceted nature of anxiety.

If you are in Sydney this June check it out.  Go find ‘Landscape of the Mind’, learn how others experience anxiety, realise you aren’t alone in having it, start a conversation about it and, in doing so, help de-stigmatise something that is a common human experience even though it is tricky to discuss.

Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency and runs from 26 May to 17 June, 2017. For more information visit www.vividsydney.com