Brecon artist's mental health film wins international prize

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Oscar LewisImage source, Oscar Lewis
Image caption,
Oscar Lewis's hand-painted animation The Waves helped him process his battle with severe anxiety and depression.

A Welsh artist's film about his battle with mental health will be shown across Europe after winning an international award.

Oscar Lewis's animation recalls childhood trips to his grandparents' farm in Lisvane, Cardiff.

The artist, 27, who grew up in Brecon, Powys, said making the film helped him with his severe anxiety and depression.

The Waves was named best animation at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival's international film category.

The hand-painted animation, which shows a young boy running through fields, will be shown at festivals in cities including Glasgow and Lisbon.

Mr Lewis, who needed hospital treatment three years ago for a mixture of severe depression and anxiety as well as other issues, said making the film had helped him reconnect with his peaceful childhood experiences.

Truly dark things

"It's about how far away and distant childhood feels when you experience a severe mental health problem," he said.

"I feel as though I lost years from my life after being debilitated by it all and so the reason I make so much work about it is a way of making up the lost time, or at least trying to give those years meaning."

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has more than 300 events across Scotland.

Mr Lewis added: "Wales inspired much of the visuals for the film. There is something that connects me to the Welsh countryside that I find difficult to express in words.

"Of course I have been through a form of hell and it's an ongoing struggle, but I do my best to stay optimistic and even laugh about it.

"My work is where I try to leave all the truly dark things behind".