At the beginning of the school year, I dove into academic research to discover precisely why art and doodling as a means of creative expression has helped so many people, and why art therapy and doodling books have risen in popularity in the past few years. From this research, I determined that simple mark-making activities, such as doodling, are an effective coping mechanism for individuals with anxiety and depression-related issues.
The various abstract shapes of paper presented in this installation were distributed, filled out, and collected from members of the UFV student body over the course of winter semester. These shapes have been based off the sections of the human brain that are most affected by anxiety and depression, according to MRI scans. I pulled these scans from a 2017 study published in the academic journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. This study explored the intrinsic patterns of spontaneous activity in the brains of patients affected by depression. By filling these MRI-inspired shapes with doodles, students transformed a representation of negative space into a positive one. The result is a collaborative project between myself and the UFV student community to demonstrate the value and need for creative expression in the battle against mental health issues.