A short draft of my dissertation ending.
Traditionally I am not very good with words in comparison to how I am with creating . I have heavily relied on art throughout my years of misfortune and illness, as an unconventional coping mechanism.
At first I only started off with some nonsense scribbles that would not have made any sense to anyone else but in hindsight were all very similar in a sense. Although the images themselves that I had created all looked different there was always a consistency of being lost and perhaps lonely. This was all before I realised my artistic potential. Now, my practice looks a lot different but still with similar connotations.
I explore the darkness, in both a literal and physical sense. From experimenting with black medium, such as acrylic paint to ball point pens and marker pens – I explore the different densities of black and what they portray to the audience. At first I thought my work could perhaps be cliché, people often associate black with darkness – it would be silly not to. However, when I would try to describe in words how horrendous and overwhelming depression and other illnesses can be, to me – it is almost impossible. What represented depression was just complete and utter darkness. Like a tunnel that has no end – a tunnel that has no light at the end and goes on for as far as the eye can see and as far and as long and hard as one keeps trotting on. To the contrary, the most important part of my work is the process. The process that helps keep a mind at ease. Helps filter through both negative and sometimes (rarely) positive thoughts that may occur. In some works, the process is quick and easy which involves drawing some scribbles or taking apart and destroying something until it is no more. However, as my practice has grown most of my work takes a long time to be completed. My process involves obsessive, pernickety and precise mark making. My most successful pieces are the ones that take me days and days on end to complete. A consistent movement of creating either small individual lines made my a pen or brush to create something, that might at first seem pointless, but in reality takes a lot of hard work and determination. It does however, help me relax in some cases and gives my mind something else to concentrate on rather than the uncontrollable daily stresses that one may encounter.
The repetition of marks becomes obsessive and time consuming – and sometimes there are spells where I get frustrated that I do not want to keep going, that it physically starts to ail me. My body starts to ache and my eyes cross over at the thought of little lines or brushstrokes. When this does happen, I stand back and take a look at what I am doing – this can be when I am almost ‘finished’ or when I have just started, depending on the aura of my mood that day. When I step back I realise what I am actually doing and that it looks the part, it demonstrates the hard work that has been put into it mirroring the concept of how difficult and how much hard work having a mental disorder such as depression or OCD can be and how difficult it may be to keep going sometimes. The majority of my work, as previously mentioned, is black. I have a knack and interest in painting things black. It sounds simple and to some easy or boring but it is quite the contrary.
Art is a tricky thing. What is considered to be art? Some viewers would perhaps look at my work and say “I could make that, that’s too easy, how is that art?” – and this is what I find fascinating. My work may look simple and ‘easy’ – but it is in fact the opposite. The way that people might view my work is exactly what I intend as some viewers would instantly disregard it. This mirrors the exact views of depression – still today within our societies. Depression is still a ‘myth’ to some people. They do not believe that such a thing exists even though are are more than many studies to proof that it is. The fact that there is a divide in such a topic is exactly what I enjoy creating. The divide within my work if people will understand it or not – just as depression and other mental illnesses are viewed. Just because you cannot always necessarily see it – does not mean that is not in fact apparent.