By Stevie Tierney
Editor’s Note: This article is the first of its kind for Conversations Magazine. We featured nine works of art by Rockhurst University student Stevie Tierney. After reading her words, look at each painting slowly as if you were in an art museum. Ask yourself - what do you feel as you see her description of each mental illness? What stirs in you?
As a nursing student at Research College of Nursing and currently working on my art minor at Rockhurst University, I have been taking art classes for three years now. Art has been a hobby of mine since I was nine years old but helping people and bringing compassion into their lives is my passion. One year ago, I signed up for an independent study that correlated with my mental health nursing course. I decided to merge my new understanding of mental health and my own personal struggles with my passion for art and helping others. I created a series of ten paintings based off mental health illnesses, each featured below.
I went through a very detailed and thought out process when making these mental health pieces, using liquid, high-flow and solid acrylics to make these paintings. When I was in my mental health course I would learn everything needed to understand what it meant to live with these mental illnesses. I wanted my pieces to be emotional and disturbing so people could not just gain knowledge and understanding of what it looks like to live with these mental illnesses but to feel the raw emotion that these people feel every day. I feel as humans we learn best through imagery and symbolism and that is why every portion of my art held symbolism to the mental illness it was depicting. I wanted to help and bring peace to people with mental struggles. Sometimes we do not know how to explain or understand our struggles, but my art was made in place of those words that we never know how to say.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Sexual Assault/ Abuse / rape
Stevie Tierney is a nursing student at Research College and Nursing and an art minor at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. She now has an Etsy account, MentalHealthAware, where she sells prints and donates some of the proceeds for every print sold to Mental Health America of The Heartland. All photos are featured courtesy of Tierney and are copy written.