John F. Gerrard
I am an artist and author living in Mohkinstsis / Calgary, AB. In 2018 I was trained as a peer support worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association, and since then, I’ve blended mental health advocacy with my art and writing practice. Some highlights of the past few years include my collaboration with neuroscientists as a part of Branch Out Neurological Foundation charity events and my first international showing in Chicago as a part of the multidisciplinary "SOME PEOPLE"(Every)Body exhibition.
In 2017 I provided 34 paintings for the Calgary Stampede "Dream Home" (Homes by AVI / Rotary Club). This year I drew on four concrete barriers as a part of the Beltline Neighborhood Associations BUMP mural festival.
My first book, We Make Clocks, Not Time: My Lived Experience With Psychosis, Creativity, and the Ideas That Have Helped Me was published in 2022. In this book I relate my lived experience with paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and other mental health concerns in an effort to humanize these symptoms. While writing about these struggles, I also explore the philosophical questions I wrestled with in my recovery, dealing with issues such as personal identity and free will.
Over the past 20 years I’ve been strengthening my muscles as an artist. I’ve drawn and painted a vast array of two-dimensional images, made illustrations and photographic work, and written and recorded musical records. I’m excited to continue to explore my creative voice.
Portrait by Alex Dakers