Still Sane

Year Published:  1987  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3264

Abstract:  "Still sane" is the title , and the message, of a clay sculpture exhibition by two feminist artists, Persimmon Balckbridge and Sheila Gilhooly. STILL SANE is also the title of the book form of Gilhooly's powerful story of three years spent in psychiartic insitutions for the "disease" of lesbianism, accompanied by photographs of Blackbridge's 27 life-size clay sculptures.

The images are modeled on Gilhooly's body and onvey a wide range of emotions. Ghilhooly's writings are reproduced in full. Although her story is painful and disturbing, her humour emerges, as well as her strength in surviviing, and her pride in not hving given up on herself, despite psychiatry's attemtp to get her to do so.

Interspersed among the photographs are statisitcs which make it clear that Gilhooly's experience is not unique. The book aslo contains four short articles by the artist, and by activits in the lesbian, feminist and mad movement, sharing personal experiences.

This book raises quesitons not only about traditional definitions of "mental health" and the right to self-determination, but also about the nature of art; who can make art? who does it speak to? and the appropriateness of "political" subject matter.