If depression was sitting across from you, what would it look like? Would it be a he, she or gender neutral? Animal, vegetable, mineral? Or would it be more intangible, like a fleeting image or moment in time?
Draw that Beast asks this of people and takes it a step further by asking them put that image of their depression – or “beast” – down on paper and then share it with the world through an online not-for-profit art project.
It is not an art competition but, if people feel they can’t draw their beast, then they are welcome to take a photo, paint, make a montage, digital photomash etc. The only limits are imagination and that the images are original and free of copyright.
Draw that Beast is anonymous, as this decreases self-censure and maintains the right of the poster to choose whom they disclose their beastly battles to in real life in the age of google. A point that local Canberrean and site coordinator, Megan aka Lady of the Beast, also maintains for herself.
She sees the project as a positive medium and hopes it will become a place of understanding for sufferers and non-sufferers alike: “Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It does not reflect personal failure or defect, as it can happen to anyone at anytime”
The project aims to be a relevant and empowering resource given that depression is one of the most common of all mental health problems. Indeed, according to the Beyond Blue initiative, one in five people experience depression at some stage of their lives.