Artist Statement

For this project I have explored nightmares and fears caused by mental disorders, developing on from my last project by depicting more than the physical internal suffering. The mental disorders I worked with include Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, Depressions, Autism to connect to last term I also used Fibromyalgia. I have work across an array of different mediums and processes, most prominently being mark making using different forms of paint and tools. By showing the internal battles which mental disorders sufferers face, the viewer is able to connect,even if only slightly, to certain imagery and fears. This connection is what makes the works I have made so powerful, enforced by my sources and my personal approach to this project.

I began my project by first interviewing people I know who suffer with the disorders I was hoping to work with to get a first hand experience from. I was able to use myself for the Fibromyalgia mental side, and slightly for the Depression as I suffer from both. I gathered this information in a way I could use by brainstorming myself a mind map, and gathering ideas of the tools and techniques I hoped to practise with this term. I was given a few artists to look at to help further my ideas, the most important to my work being Ida Applebroog, for her haunting faces paintings, Sue Williams, for her chaotic and beautiful dry marks in her works, and Basquiat, for his Neo-Expressionism style in drawing  skeletons and strong colouring.I was also encouraged to look into the artist’s movements Expressionism and Surrealism for the marks and colouring, and the need to depict the artist’s consciousness rather than reality. Whilst in this stage I also took notes on which body parts are often made to appear scary, limiting myself in order to not run over time.

After creating a series of sketches and the beginning of a book, I was encouraged to continue with using sketches and fabric as a basis for my work as they gave the piece a much more approachable look, and made it easier for the viewer to connect, by seeing the works placed alongside each other as if in a slide show. I focused on nightmarish subjects in my work that mental disorder sufferers and people without disorders would be able to connect too, being sure to keep them all connected through the colouring depicted in each work so as to not have any look out of place. I centered more on the face and bones than any other part of the body, as it’s the part most often depicted in scary movies and peoples minds, by painting  with a dry brush, my hands, linoprints and monoprinting onto cotton fabric. At times I tried to be sure to experiment with the works on paper first to ensure that I don’t waste any fabric, but in a few of my works I made them impulsively after getting a nightmare of getting an idea. I made them all connect in colouring, an example being the face with red, orange and yellow eyes, and the haunting deformed figure with red, orange and yellow brushed around it. Whilst looking unremarkable, after viewing it my fellow students did say that their simplicity is what made them memorable and they did question where the images came from as they did seem familiar, giving me hope that the audience will feel the same.

For my final piece I collected the strongest pieces I had made to date, revised some of them to make them stronger, and hung them up, being sure to pay attention to the height and order they place in. I hung them around the height of an average persons eye height so that the viewer could simply concentrate on the work without having to look up awkwardly, or down, therefore allowing the viewer to simply concentrate on the work. I made sure to connect to a modern art history reference through my colouring and marks in my work. I chose to use the base ideas of Surrealism and Expressionism, those being the need to represent the artist’s consciousness rather than nature, because I felt that these arts movements were the most relevant to my ideas. I used this idea throughout my work, paying attention to the colouring and marks featured in my work.


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