August 12, 2020

A pencil and three colors to portray the passage through the psychiatric | Culture


Maria Manonelles (Ibiza, 1996) used a single pencil to portray his stay in a psychiatric hospital. He considered using pencils of three different colors to illustrate the experience, but discarded it for pragmatism: every time he had to sharpen the pencil, he had to ask the medical staff for permission. Any sharp object, any object that can be used to kill yourself, is forbidden in the acute hospitalization unit of the Health Park of the Sea, in Barcelona.

"I had to draw because I have a bad memory. He told me that every detail was very important, that I had to write it down, "says Manonelles in his apartment in the Gracia neighborhood, a flat shared with three other people, two cats and a hamster. Manonelles self-published a first version of I sleep a lot, and now the editorial Fragile Movement he publishes it expanded. The story is hard, but with a dose of humor, such as the words the author writes to close the book, after five weeks entered: "They threw me out because they need beds. And I sleep a lot. I stole the pajamas. "

Manonelles draws at the beginning of I sleep a lot eight figures that look like manikins twitched, to show their outfits but also the nudity in the hospital, and to give an account of their predilection for that pajama: "They gave me a very big blue pajamas, and since I was very low-cut and in the unit very cold, they offered me a bandage to finish closing my shirt. Although the pajamas were uncomfortable to sleep on and I had to fold my pants so as not to drag them on the floor, I liked to wear it. I have always liked to wear uniforms at work and had not yet had the opportunity to wear the official uniform of crazy"

They recognize me 45% disability. Others would take it badly, but it is good to recognize your limits, you live better if you do it. If you do not assume your limits, you will stick it

Manonelles was diagnosed with mixed personality disorder, as well as anxiety and depression. She received this December 24 what she considers a gift, her disability card of the Generalitat: "I will have free studies, discounts on transportation … I am recognized as 45% disabled. Others would take it badly, but it is good to recognize your limits, you live better if you do it. If you do not assume your limits, you will stick to it. " Manonelles discovered his limits in the summer of 2016. He worked eight hours a day in an audiovisual company and in the afternoon he attended his drawing studies at the Escuela Massana. "Peté because I'm not able to maintain a normal working day," says Manonelles. By petar it is understood what she exposes in two pages of I sleep a lot: "My head could not and could not, could not, could not, can not, my head, no, can not, I do not know what to do, I can not, I can not, I can not". Before admission, her psychologist had asked her to draw her feelings while suffering from anxiety attacks. Manonelles builds a scene superimposing all those drawings. The result is a cloud of darkness that engulfs the protagonist.

Illustration of Manonelles for 'I sleep a little'.
Illustration of Manonelles for 'I sleep a little'.

Manonelles later introduced blue details into the book. White, black and blue are the colors of I sleep a lot because they are the corporate colors of the Hospital del Mar. He became so used to blue and white that after leaving the center, he bought Ikea objects of these colors for his home. The majority of drawings were made during his admission. Those who created later seem to have a more stylistic and less emotional will. Like a prickly pear that symbolizes the letters sent to him by his grandmother from Ibiza. His grandmother told him about nature, about his childhood and about an optimistic future: "I had to foresee that a lady who collects stuffed animals and hangs them on trees and garden plants to recreate a forest would write something different to me." Manonelles raises another book from the letters with drawings and cuts that his grandmother sends him.

I sleep a lot also serves to reflect on the thin line we use to differentiate between what normal and the abnormal. Her parents, divorced, visited her together during the admission, in a strange family unit; in the two daily hours allowed to leave the center, his mother hunted Pokemon with the phone while they were walking along the sea front; another inmate managed to entertain her by collecting advertisements for household appliances that they found in the press copies that the hospital had.

Manonelles only loses a smile during the interview, when the journalist loses an expression of compassion. The book begins with the illustration of two armchairs similar to the dentist's work chairs. They were "comfortable" chairs, says Manonenlles, those that had sea views in the unit. Behind the seats grow two shadows: "They represent what people do not see of mental illness." His interlocutor regrets it, but she cuts short, blunt: "Nothing to feel sorry for, it's worse."

A feminist santoral

Maria Manonelles, last week in Barcelona.
Maria Manonelles, last week in Barcelona. THE COUNTRY

Maria Manonelles is engaged in a second job, about women in the Catholic Church. He has made spiritual recesses in Montserrat, studies the lives of nuns and saints. The objective is to create a sort of feminist santoral, approaching its history in a different way to what we usually find in museums, says Manonelles. He gives as examples to Saint Dimpna, who was a hermit in Geel (Belgium) and where still today people with mental illness go on pilgrimage, or to Saint Eulalia: "Art always portrays the martyrdom of Saint Eulalia, I would prefer to show the epic moment in which, As a child, she stands before the Roman governor for having forbidden Christian worship. "

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