"After experiencing anxiety and depression for more than a decade, I still have to remind myself in moments of panic or sadness: This moment will pass. It is easy to get lost in the overwhelming ebbs and flows of mental health disorders; however, I work hard to find balance every day and not judge myself in the process. Artistic expression, specifically ceramics, is one tool I use to process the ups and downs of my mental health. I often illustrate symptoms, coping mechanisms, challenges and even strengths I have because of my mental health on the surfaces of my pottery.
"This fall, I decided to focus my artwork not only on my story, but that of my family, friends and strangers by interviewing and surveying others who have anxiety and/or depression. I then created—and re-created—an open bowl form (hundreds of times!) because I wanted the form of my work to reflect my intent: To create a welcoming, open and supportive/non-judgmental environment for my audiences. This process was extremely therapeutic for me. It forced me to become more comfortable in my own skin. I discussed the topic of mental health more openly and deeply than ever before, and with people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Like my bowls, I encourage you to be open and share your experiences with mental illness/stigma, and to ask others about their own."
Ella is the current Resident Artist at The Clay Coop in Rockville, Maryland. To view more of her artwork, visit www.EllaScheuerell.com or follow her on Instagram @EllaAudreyCeramics.