Brain Injury is a Mask According to a Stratford Artist
Sam Pocock of Stratford was inspired when she saw a National Geographic article that featured masks made by soldiers suffering from PTSD. Pocock lives with brain injury and she likens it to wearing a mask. People around her don’t know what’s underneath the mask and what’s going on in her head.
As a result she created a show at the Gallery Stratford’s Steelbox Art Lab. It features an assortment of masks individually designed and created by members of the Stratford Acquired Brain Injury support group, and a local group called Grateful Heads. People with ABI painted their masks to express the brain injuries that they sustained. They hope that the masks help people understand the hidden injury that they suffer from. Many people with brain injury do not have a physical injury and thus their behavior can be very perplexing for people around them who aren’t aware of the ABI.
This show is an educational and therapeutic one. Pocock hopes to share information, and to help people understand how private and stigmatizing brain injury can be.
The artists stories vary. One woman fell in her kitchen hitting her head and suffering a stroke as a result of the injury. Other have been in car accidents. Each mask has a private story and a message. They all reflect the confusion that can come with brain injury.
If you are in Stratford here is the link to the gallery.