Epilogue

Defining the terms creativity and madness, as given in the Introduction, is essential in order to elaborate upon whether or not art and madness are related and if so in what way.

In marriage a link between two parties is formed by a third party. Hopefully most marriages are based on a strong link already in existence. However the marriage of art and madness is not built on a thorough and real foundation but rather on half-truths, assumptions, misunderstandings and mystification. Consequently, society should look at the facts subjectively and admit that there is no direct relationship between art and madness.

Firstly, we need to look at the actual numbers of mad artists bearing in mind just how many artists there are and reflect on the numbers of mad people in other comparable professions. Remembering that we would not know the names of mad plumbers (for example) as well as we know the names and the work of the mad artists.

Secondly we should be more careful when using the term madness because unfortunately we often use it incorrectly to describe someone who is merely different from us. As I mentioned in Chapter 4 there might be a connection between creativity and eccentricity or odd behaviour, not between creativity and madness.

Thirdly, the fact that the creative process itself requires a sober and healthy mind as has been proposed by many psychiatrists and sociologists in a variety of tests, interviews, and theoretical discussions, suggests that mental illness is only a hindrance to creative thinking. Having considered the previous points (which will reduce the numbers of truly mad artists enormously) I would like to point out that it is not surprising that a troubled soul ( for example by depression, heavy drinking etc.) seeking tolerance and respect will be drawn to the arts.

Finally, there may be some who become mad as a more or less direct result of their creativity but I would argue that in most cases the connection is less direct and is indeed strongly related to society. In other words, it is not the creative process that causes insanity, but rather aspects related to being creative (e.g. constant worries about ability, respect, finance, competition etc.).

These thoughts and ideas are based on information I gathered primarily from books, an interview with Prof.Dr.R.Michaelis , a questionnaire, discussions with fellow artists and general observation and logic.

I have placed much emphasis on the neurological aspects because the various descriptions of the working of the right hemisphere (as by Sperry, Levy, Eccles, Walton, and Edwards amongst others) , provide an astoundingly precise account of the creative activity as I have experienced it.

Based on this information I conclude that there may well be a connection between creativity and eccentricity, but that there is merely a tenuous link between creativity and madness.