So the second stage of HOAX has ended - HOAX My Lonely Heart with its sell-out run, and HOAX Psychosis Blues with its launch. I wrote the project’s ‘evaluation narrative’ for Arts Council England and the moment I’d finished that, my mind turned to other things:
the third stage of HOAX;
a new cross-media project I’m building called CIRCUS;
and, of course, Ziggy’s Wish.
It’s Ziggy’s Wish I’ve been focused on most. Every time I see Zig looking out at me from the logo, I feel a pang. But I also draw great drive from this, remembering him, how he inspired me to set up Ziggy’s Wish in order to really try and make a difference - and how that’s now actually begun with HOAX Psychosis Blues.
Having this as our first title – such a beautifully honest account of my brother’s struggles with schizophrenia – has been a real gift. Hearing and seeing the responses from people who have read it, especially those who have suffered with mental health problems themselves, has been truly affecting. It’s clear HOAX Psychosis Blues has the power help bring about empathy, and thereby reduce stigma around mental health, and now I feel I have to make sure that power is felt.
So I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about Ziggy’s Wish, about how to develop its inner and outer workings, so that it really can become a force for good. It’s been a fairly intense few weeks of mulling and strategising, of questions and more questions, the odd lightbulb moment, then more questions again… and, as with any new endeavour, there’s been a lot of swimming around in the dark. Slowly but surely, though, things are starting to clarify. Ziggy’s Wish, its purpose, its potential… it’s all starting to take shape. And I like that shape. It feels good, but more importantly, it feels right.