Continuing from my exploration with body printing, this is my most recent piece, which I’ve named Bottom’s Up! As they are prints from my buttocks. I find this hilarious, and yet I am fascinated how we can use the human body as a paintbrush.
Playing around in the studio during SPA week, me and Zach wanted to create something and I decided to play on the idea that I want to perform but I’m too scared so I will make others perform for me. So we decided to do an experiment where I tell Zach what to do, improvising with objects in the studio space. It was super fun and I like the idea of giving instructions and making something perform them, I think that there is a lot of ways this can be manipulated.
Reflecting on my trip to America I’ve been creating textured landscapes, expressing memory in abstract form. The colour palette was chosen from the colours of the bark on the trees in LA which fascinated me, and made my partner laugh that I kept taking pictures of them.
I’m playing around with the idea of creating an abstract representation of a memory. Sticking once again, to expressionism values, where the colour, texture and application is more important than representing a “realness”.
Experimenting with body printing, inspired by Ana Mendieta and Yves Klein.
I wanted to experiment with painting and performance and I saw “Homage to Ana Mendieta” and was inspired to recreate body printing in homage to her also.
I learnt Mendieta died after falling down 33 flights of stairs! And so I would like to do a performance based around this involving her famous body printing, and relating it to her death, in the future. For now, I’m experimenting and seeing what works and testing out different areas of the body.
I've been wanting to write something about epilepsy for a while, but I've not really had the confidence. However, I'm going to bite the bullet and have a try. Please bare in mind, this is just my opinion based on my experience, and I know others may vary.
I started having epileptic seizures around 11 years old, yet I wasn't diagnosed until I was 18. It is a misunderstood condition, even to some health professionals. Many people believe epilepsy is just having seizures, however there is more to it than that. It affects people in different ways, as there are so many different types of epilepsy it's hard to pin point a few, but some of the most common are;
- Memory Problems
- Concentration Issues
I have experienced all of the above, and still do to this day. The memory problems are probably the worst part for me, as I struggle to remember a lot of my childhood. I was once told by my doctor that essentially whenever I have a seizure, a part of my memory is erased, and I've had a lot of seizures. This made it especially hard to learn new things, I would learn something, have a seizure and boom it would be gone, then other times it wasn't. It made it very frustrating. As an artist I have to re-teach myself simple things all the time, and I've found as I've gotten older, it's harder to learn something new, this is probably also because of my concentration issues.
It's no surprise to me that I developed Insomnia. I started at 11 having only sleep seizures, which meant every time I went to sleep there was a risk of having a seizure, so of course I began to fear going to sleep. Only in recent years have I started having awake seizures too. But the fear still remains.
Although nowadays my seizures are pretty well controlled (for now), they are triggered by stress and tiredness. My anxiety doesn't help with this, nor does my insomnia, and I have to be careful because I seem to get tired easier than other people. This is apparently a known side-effect of my medication! This often gets in the way of when I have a job, as I struggle to work the normal 8 hours, and I can't manage full time hours. I need regular breaks, or I can have a seizure, and I have done in the past. In my experience, not many of my employers liked this, and so now I have a bit of a bad rep with them!
Of course this is just my experience and experiences vary and thankfully some things seem to be improving, such as support for people with invisible disabilities, so onwards and upwards!
I've recently realised the importance of being in an artist studio. And I'm so incredibly grateful that I can say I have a studio to work in this summer.
Granted, I haven't really been in the studio much at the moment. I'm struggling financially and I feel bad to be in a studio when I have no canvases to work off. However from the time I've been in the studio, I've felt so inspired.
I'm surrounded by other creatives, who are completely different to me, and have shown me new techniques and ways of creating work that I never would have imagined. To be surrounded by such amazing art, makes me want to create more! And I think artists need that. To be surrounded by like-minded people, who inspire you, offer you advice and give such a positive vibe, is amazing, and actually makes me consider being a full time artist.
I love walking around the studio, and hearing people's stories, seeing their new creations, and getting advice from established artists, is incredibly important, to an upcoming artist. Usually in the summer months, I do little to no artwork, because I don't feel I have a space to do any work. I know that shouldn't be an excuse, but when you have to push yourself to do pieces anyway, having a space where you can shut off and make a mess, is important.
Overall, I'm incredibly grateful to have a studio space, and be surrounded by such wonderful artists who are inspiring me every day. Already I have been sketching every day, and so it shows the difference an art environment can make.
Is it because people can relate?
This piece is my most popular piece. It is probably the only piece I own where I refuse to sell the original.
When I look back at this piece now, I see how far I've come.
At the time of creating this piece, I was really struggling. I was majorly depressed and experiencing psychosis for the first time, I was really fucking scared. I felt suicidal, and didn't think I'd last much longer. I used painting as an escape. In this piece in particular, I tried to express those weird feelings, to try make sense of it all.
To look back on it now, is strange. I see how far I've come since then. I didn't think I'd survive another few years, yet here I am, going into my third year at Uni and I'd just curated my first show. And this piece, is my most popular piece! Which out of all my pieces, I find a little strange, and I wonder if it's because people can relate? Nowadays on my social media pages, I'm seeing more and more people saying that they are struggling,and so maybe people can relate to how I expressed my struggles?
Today a fellow artist said to me;
That quote made me think. I wasn't offended at all, rather I realised they were right, and had just described my working style in a sentence. It inspired me to write this post, to explain why I don't spend a long time doing pieces.
The piece they were referring to, I did it in an hour. In fact, most of my pieces are done in this time frame, as they usually result from me being incredibly anxious and using my art to relax.
I never really thought of that as a bad thing until the past few years, when I've seen the dedication of some artists, and I really respect and admire how long they can spend on one piece. I however, struggle to concentrate for more than an hour, and I'm incredibly indecisive. I can't sit and plan a piece, because I will think of a million ideas, then just never do them. Often, I will write down ideas, then start a piece and it will go in a completely different direction. So I try to not do that anymore, and instead embrace my impulsiveness, and focus on how I feel in the moment, rather than constantly thinking of the end result. It's saved me a lot of stress and therefore seizures, It's a very weird way of working, and with my insomnia I usually work at night too, but it seems to work for me.
However, that's not to say my pieces don't require effort. A lot of the time, I have to push myself to do a piece. I mean, as I do them usually when I'm feeling anxious, if anyone has anxiety, you'll know the last thing you wanna do is concentrate on something. But, I know now that it actually really helps me, and it's in those moments that I have created some of my best works. They also mean something, and it shows that you can use your problems to help you create personal pieces.
My main point of this post is that I've finally accepted that I work in an unusual way. I admire artists who spend a long time on their pieces, and I will keep trying ways to push myself to be able to do this. However, for now I've accepted that this is how I work, and I want to embrace that.