Approximately one in five adults in Utah are experiencing the invisible challenge of mental illness. Artist Fiona Phillips’ work seeks to examine people’s perception of the “Face” of mental illness: what does a mentally ill person look like and how does one perceive health by appearance? Stigmatized misperception of the mentally ill can be barriers to healing. Her portrait paintings are large and accompanied by an anonymous “ID” badge, each one states a stigma or slang word identifying the person as mentally ill or healthy and other statements to confront the viewer with image through the juxtaposition of connotation and denotation.
Phillips’ art will be on display at the Sears Art Gallery Museum on the campus of Dixie State University beginning Friday, September 14 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m each night. Admission is free to the public, and the exhibit runs through November 16, 2018.