A new result is of value, if at all, when in unifying elements long known but hitherto separate and seeming strangers one to another, it suddenly introduces order where apparently disorder reigned.

(Henri Poincaré, 1910)

The people whose narrative extracts appear in this book were at very different points in their recovery or discovery journey. Part of that journey, as described in Chapter 3, involved pulling their art practice, sometimes haltingly, out of the clinical setting, away from the confines of ‘mental health art’ or even the discourse of ‘community art’. Participants spoke fervently of not wanting to be categorized, pigeon-holed, or consigned to any one label, and of being driven to self-determine. As Charlie Devus put it, ‘. . .to become an artist allowed me to live on the peripheries of myself – to reinvent, perpetually . . .’.