Can Art Help You Escape From Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Creative ideas to fight SAD, from acid blotters soaked in Vitamin D to a tropical gallery party.

As the winter rages on, a group of artists has turned their eyes towards mental health with an art show dedicated to Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD).


Studio C&C, the London collective responsible for the project, has commissioned works from artists who have experienced symptoms of SAD, and combined them them into a limited edition large format book titled S.A.D Rescue Pack.

“Some of the contributors may have been using their artwork as a coping mechanism, as an exercise to help them manage their feelings,” Alex McCullough of Studio C&C told Vice. “Whereas other people’s works are just supposed to be cheerful for the reader.” One of these playful pieces, which look like Pop Art on a sugar high, is a sheet of blotter paper (generally used for taking LSD) soaked in Vitamin D, which is thought to lessen the symptoms of the disorder.

Dr. Joe Taravella, a supervisor of pediatric psychology at NYU Lagone Medical center told ABC News that the disorder “affects anywhere from 5% to 10% of the population.” That’s a ton of people who are feeling clinical levels of depression for at least a quarter of every year. Treatments for SAD have generally focused on the lack of sunlight that plagues many people during winter months: light boxes have become a common purchase for sufferers.

In addition to the book, the tropical-themed launch party is intended to be an “over the top escapism event,” to “create a space for people as a kind of refuge from SAD—a sanctuary; hopefully somewhere that feels a million miles from London in the middle of February.” From the looks of the promo video, which is filled with neon, bathing suits and ice cream, it seems like this party is so stimulus-filled to be effective distraction from any type of depression, at least for an evening. The S.A.D. launch event will take place at Protein Gallery Space on Thursday, February 19. The exhibit will remain open inside London’s Protein Gallery Space through February 22.

[via Vice]


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