Repetition is an important part within my work.
It is the repletion of the actions, of the mark making, of the words, of everything. The repetition of the actions and the mark making is a sort of therapy in a way for me. It is a therapy but also in a way, a sort of punishment. How can it be a therapy but also a punishment I hear you ask! Well, it is a little journey within its own right. It starts off therapeutic and helps my mind solely focus on the one thing. This one thing used to be just painting things black – but the black is a whole other topic (which I will get round to – I promise)! Having a small brush and loads of paint results to hours on end, painting one stroke after the other, repeatedly until the full page/object is black. Recently I have started to venture out into different styles of marks. Lines. Little tiny lines. These little lines are the bane of my life – both in a good and and way. At first it helps me escape from reality- even if only for a short while – it helps me think about little stories in my head and concentrate on the action that I am doing. The constant mark making. The repetition of marks becomes obsessive to me, and consequently very time consuming. Sometimes there are cases where it starts to physically ail me. It hurts my back, my hands, my neck, my eyes – you name it. However, whilst working in this sort of way it makes me fell utterly frustrated sometimes, there always a sense of accomplishment about it which is why is a reason why I think I enjoy it. It takes so bloody long to keep going, it tires the mind and body, but at the end it always seems worth it – to see a full page that has just been made up of little dots or little lines etc.
The piece seen above took about 2 days on and off. I worked on it for maybe 4 or 5 hours a day, so all in all I would say it took about 8-10 hours which doesn’t seem so bad. Although, for my nest piece like this I plan to do it in one sitting, filming the full time so that it can be shown how much work and effort goes into it. In some ways, it has a sort of performance element you could say. However, the idea of actually putting on a performance of myself creating work, make me tremble with fear – I think for now I will stick with filming. I film in real time but speed it up so that the viewer is not sitting watching it for 9 hours. I would maybe cut it to about 4 hours on loop so that people can come and go as they please.
The physical element of the mark making, of taking pen to paper, paint to paper etc is important. It is human made. Not by a machine – and it is more than apparent that it is made by a human. The lines are uneven, some are longer or thicker than the others. This is a crucial part of the work, I want people to see how it has been made. It takes a lot of time and effort for sure – whereas a lot of people i believe would disregard it saying that anyone could do that, a 5 year olds art is ‘better’. However, that is another topic of conversation – what is art. I aim to have these mixed opinions on my work as they (to me) mirror societies views of depression. Some people will get the work and others wont. Just like some people understand depression and that it is a real thing and others just do not in the slightest. I like the idea of people disregarding it (does that mean I am a real artist haha?) because I myself have been victim to people not understanding mental health. Within work places, I have fallen to managers not understanding what is going on – even with proof of hospital letters – and they think that I am just making stuff up to be centre of attention (which I actually hate).
I think that it is important for people to be able to express themselves in a way that s safe and they see fit. Art has helped me an awful lot throughout my life, even though I may not have known at the time. All these little things add up to become something masterful and that is where the real beauty lies.