Artist's coffee mugs reflect experiences of the Mentally Ill

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Thursday 24 June 2010.

Artist's coffee mugs reflect experiences of the Mentally Ill image Artist's coffee mugs reflect experiences of the Mentally Ill image

Every workplace office is filled with mugs that carry 'clever' catch phrases on the side, supposedly revealing the experiential state of the person drinking said coffee cup, and also as a warning to others not to drink from those personalised items.

However, few of these mugs reflect the experiences of people suffering from mental illnesses. Artist Laura Delaney created a series of mugs for her exhibition I’m Fine, which she installed on-site in the cafeteria of the Orygen Youth Health Centre in Melbourne, Australia as part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival.

Her coffee mugs carry slogans that reveal the side-effects caused by a number of commonly-available medications. Some of the mugs are thermally-responsive, so that the symptoms aren’t known until the mug is already being used.

Delaney’s installation was designed to get people thinking about the conflicted internal states which characterise mental illnesses, which many of us sometimes experience – blurring the boundaries which define those inside the health system and those safely outside it.

By rendering some of the most private and embarrassing aspects of these treatments as a public ‘conversation topic’, I’m Fine again questions the extent to which our culture compels us to internalise and contain key aspects of ourselves.

The mugs are available to purchase by emailing Laura. Each mug is an original, and is only $15 AUD.

lauradelaney.encyclopedia@gmail.com

Download a complete list of the mug slogans.

Laura Delaney on Artabase