Bruce Ray

BIOGRAPHY

I’ve been an artist ever since I was a child. I was educated on commercial art -at Victoria Composite School in Edmonton. I have been a member of Galley Gachet for twenty years. I have had six solo shows and taken part in various group shows. I have worked in acrylics, lino blocks and I’m currently creating in Photoshop. I also play guitar and write songs . I have published three books: a chapbook of poetry, a graphic novel and a book of short story cartoons. I will have another book of one page cartoons come out in the coming spring. I have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia since I was twenty one. I currently take medication and I am relatively stable. I am proud to call myself “outsider” artist and in this way I work to remove all stigma -that comes out of oppression. This is why I am happy to be a part of Gallery Gachet. I have hope that what we do here will be an example for others in the outside world. I have lived a long life and I see myself as a survivor. I have also put together a book’s list of available material on mental illness. In this way I am working to give choices to my companions and peers. I am sharing my vision with a larger community.

STATEMENT

I believe that all dreams are as real as waking life. We who live in the outside world are not always aware of the inside world. Art is a way of evoking this; the ritual of creation is a revealing of essence. Often times the process of expression is seen as a fit of madness. Most of us are hypnotized by paradox -paralyzed by an oppressive reality. I see the plight of the mentally ill as an alliance with other marginalized movements. In the fight for human rights we are together -and we share our testimonies. If a dream functions as true consciousness -we know it in our lives. Faith only comes out of knowing the Truth. And if we see with faith -we know the unseen. All art is the ability to see beyond the illusion. How a soul with a mental illness can only doubt existence. But a dreamer is loyal to the spirit of the dream. He knows that reality is elastic and always returns to itself. Surrealism and symbolism are both ways of evoking illogic. Even so I believe it’s all about telling narratives. A fairy tale or an allegory is envisioned as metaphor -this itself is the secret language of the poets. There is not one world or two worlds -but many shining worlds. Every artist is a prophet -their visions are a foretelling of the future. What was once imagined is now proven. We at the Gallery Gachet work to give opportunities to those who are forgotten by society. A basic human right is the pursuit for knowledge. How we break the barriers and speak out as free thinkers. In order to organize -we must be able to share our stories. In this way truth is a virus and change is inevitable.

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    29'' front
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