Growing up, I was able to see the effects of mental illness and the stigma it carries. Having a parent with Bipolar Disorder allowed me to be empathetic for others and to realize the invisible weight people bear on their shoulders. By being a witness to my mother’s mental illness, it opened a window to her world and that of others. Examining the political climate and how it has become easy for people to exclaim that the countries problems, such as gun violence, are the mentally ill, I created these videos works to illustrate the struggles of those who have a mental illness. It is through kindness, consideration, and knowledge that one can remove the stigma around psychological disorders. As an artist, I am exploring exposing the effect of stress disorders and creating opportunities for viewers to experience what many know as their life.
My work focuses on using video as a primary form of media. By using video, I am illustrating the reflective quality of reliving an experience or memory; a symptom that is common in sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression. Focusing on the effects these critical disorders can have on individuals, gives a voice to those who are stigmatized and often ignored. The form of the work is within video, installation and accent drawings, allowing viewers to make connections and discoveries as they view what is before them.
Jessalyn Levesque is an artist using drawing, painting, sculpture, performance and photography. Originally from Missoula Montana, Jessalyn moved to the East Coast where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Maine in Presque Isle and her Masters in Studio Art from Maine College of Art.
She has had solo and group shows and continues to work within her studio. Jessalyn was also the recipient of the Robert C. Wanbaugh Memorial Art Award, where pieces from her senior thesis are on permanent collection at the University of Maine in Presque Isle.
Copyright 2018. Jessalyn Levesque