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  • Writer's pictureVivienne Boucherat


The ‘Know Your Crazy’ online Book Club is back on Wednesday 7th September.

Each month we concentrate on 3 pictures from my book ‘Know Your Crazy’ and, using the image as a starting point for discussion, we end up talking about, well … EVERYTHING.

It may start off with a brief description of the artwork itself - but it’s the emotional responses to the images which spark off rich, candid, informative and funny conversations - that make these Book Club meetings come alive.

What stands out is how much our internal emotional landscapes have in common despite our different backgrounds, occupations, interests and life circumstances.

I have missed these gatherings over the summer break, but it did give me time to pause and appreciate just how much I have learned from my international ‘book club family’ over the last 18 months. Everyone has contributed and everyone has been brilliant.

Subjects have ranged from family, covid restrictions, social unrest, politics and technology, to allotments, the weather, astronomy, education, love and war.

Sometimes the debates have become heated but have always resolved. Personal stories of grief, depression, menopause, ageing, natural disasters and our insecurities – have all been mixed in with tips on how people have dealt with them! We have laughed at mishaps and jokes and silly stuff. It’s all pretty well rounded!

There have also been a ton of suggestions about books to read, films or box sets to watch, music to listen to, art exhibitions or gigs to go to. We have had great guest speakers and invited people to make their own reactive art in response to any KYC image that resonated with them (that was brilliant!).

I am not a therapist or psychiatrist – but I do understand the basic therapeutic benefits of talking, listening and connecting. I also understand the value of expressing our emotions via art, music or writing – it enables us to release a problem or an emotion to somewhere just outside of ourselves. This change of perspective can help get whatever ‘it’ is into focus which, in turn, helps us to understand and perhaps deal with the matter in a different or a better way. ‘Externalising’ is one small tool we can use towards getting clarity.

Having the ‘Know Your Crazy’ images as catalysts for conversation has been an education for me – I realise that the same picture will push any number of different buttons in people, also I have heard insights triggered by the drawings that I would have never thought of myself.

Book Club has made it compulsory for me to revisit all of these drawings – most of which had initially ‘flowed out’ as spontaneous reactions to events or feelings - they are not images I would have normally returned to or studied. I have made hundreds of these drawings and pinned them up on walls - and thrown hundreds away when I felt they had ‘done their job’ – all part of my efforts to understand and ‘manage’ my own psyche.

It has also prompted me to frame 8 of the box-set prints for my kitchen wall which I can change along with my moods!! It’s magical to me that they resonate in the larger world.

If you want to read more about the ‘Know Your Crazy’ project, here is an interview I did with Dr. Robi Ludwig in June:

September Book Club details & links will be emailed this weekend. The pictures will be:

Itchy Mind, Tidying Up and Last Year’s Bikini

Look forward to seeing you there.

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