Artist and Research
Cerys Knighton is a 25-year-old Welsh artist and medical humanities PhD student, whose research project has been funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.
Primarily a pointillism technique - which involves delicately layering thousands of individual ink dots - her artwork conceptually explores the findings from her research.
Working with both Welsh and English language materials, Cerys’s PhD thesis examines representations of manic-depressive illness by concurrently analysing archival medical case notes and literary texts. Her work examines the development in diagnostic categories, psychiatric treatment, and perceptions of patients. By combining artwork drawn from this research and from Cerys’s own experiences of living with bipolar disorder since childhood, her work creates a space for reflection: looking at how medical categories and representations have evolved to reflect on our own perceptions of mental illness today.
Cerys’s first two solo exhibitions have taken place in Cardiff and her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions across South Wales. She won the Doctoral Academy’s People’s Choice Award during the 2018 Images of Research Exhibition for the conceptual work exploring her research, and in 2019 received the Disability Art Award from the Livery Company of Wales. Her work has been featured by numerous media outlets including the BBC and S4C for effectively challenging the stereotyping of bipolar disorder, as well as encouraging the viewer’s perspective on individual mental wellbeing.