It happens every time, they all become blueberries.
— Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Graphic expression of madness
Master thesis


The thesis analyzes the theme of madness with reference to its graphic expression, observing the possible presence of creative components related to the human alienation, as considered by modern society.

The research initially developes through a historical and scientific study, and ends by tracing the main aspects of a more private and present reality.

We mentioned historical figures who have distinguished themselves in the arts, as well as psychiatrists and scientists who have investigated and studied this fascinating and tortuous subject.

The project ends with a concrete experience: a workshop held at the Hotel Gran Can RistorArte in the province of Verona, home of a community for people with mental illness.

The experience is reported in a journal and is limited to a certain number of events. However, it is still representative of a reality that is often discriminated, because, as often happens in these cases, poorly understood.

Activities congenial to the possibilities of the patients have been specifically designed and carried out, all created on the basis of design, art and graphic and psychological tests.

The aim was to interact with patients, experiencing an alternative method to approach their expressive activities, offering simple and basic experiences that develop skills with particular reference to design and composition of functional elements of a communicative act.

Basic exercises with colors, shapes, textures, and image associations have been used to create a survey to understand capabilities, limitations, similarities or differences of these people, sometimes debunking some common ideas.

Is there really a close connection between madness and creativity? This thesis tries to give the answers by analyzing the mental illness as an example of comparison and exchange.

The expression obtained through nonverbal language, can become a means of communication for these patients, offering them the opportunity of experiencing activities which until now had been denied.


NOTE : patients' artworks are copyright protected