Portraits of depression

Prince Albert artist John McDonald’s latest exhibit, ‘Tears of a Clown,’ chronicle his life the year he was diagnosed with depression (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Local artist chronicles the year he was diagnosed with depression in new exhibit

In 2011 John McDonald was “riding a wave of success.” He was doing well as a writer and artist and he had his dream job working with youth. Then the wave came crashing down.

McDonald had a disagreement at work that lead to him leaving his job and soon he found himself “back to square one.”

“(It) had cost me just about everything to the point where my sobriety was in question,” he said.

“It was affecting my marriage, my family, my livelihood.”

The difficulties mounted for McDonald and half way through the year he was diagnosed with depression. He said he was also suffering from “PTSD on PTSD” as a result of past traumas from his time in a residential school and working as a firefighter. Rather than ignoring his situation or dismissing the diagnosis, McDonald chose to address his mental state head-on using his art.

“When I tried to open up to different friends and family about it, trying to find support, there was no support to be found and I was kind of left abandoned and left on my own,” McDonald said.

“It was a bad year and this is what the show is chronicling. It’s chronicling my struggle and my journey through that, with what was going on at the time and what still goes on today. So each piece is a little vignette of what was happening.”

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Got to go:

What? Reception: Tears of a Clown by John McDonald

Where? John V. Hicks Gallery

When? Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

Admission? Free