Mental Health and Discovering Painting

I had given up Art after school as people advised me that I could always do it as a hobby. In losing art, I lost my mind over the years I was at college and developed a deep depression, leading to my first breakdown at the age of 17. You can read more about this here

I dropped out of the first university and returned Art college with the intention of becoming an illustrator or graphic designer. I discovered Fine Art instead. I instantly found that free flow drawing, painting and writing calmed my brain and allowed me to process thoughts. My depression was not cured, far from it but I found a way to cope and have used art since this time to channel everything.

This is the first painting I ever did. It is called Apocalypse. I cannot explain the release and euphoria creating this painting gave me. It had painted rows of lines and it wasn't working for me so I started chucking acrylic paint and varnish at it while it was on its side. The piece just came alive as did something within my soul. 

Influence of Dance Music
 
Going out late into the night in search of music used to help me escape the torment in my head, and I found that this transferred to my painting practice. I started to use a lot of Ultra violet paint and got obsessed with creating visual hallucinations. I liked how hypnotised I was by the colours, lights and shapes. I am really proud of the series of work I created throughout university. I fully embraced living as an artist and would wake up early in the morning to write or paint and would happily let myself get lost in the studio. I have many pieces from this series but these are my favourite. They are all 120 by 120 cm.
Magic Eye.jpg

Installation

 

I was given Ultra violet gloss paint and asked to create some pieces of art on wood for an installation which was a fixture for the dance nights and events at university. Other influences at this time included magic eye, anxiety, and really developing my Painting style and practice.

Scream at Flamingos.jpg

The Signs Project

The Green painting is called 'Ceiling Brains and Road Signs', and was inspired by an old photograph of my ceiling at university. Around this time I was also really interested in fate and signs. Road signs, brain patterns and art therapy.

The Blue/Pink piece is called 'Change the Triggers'.

I was very interested in a variety of artists at this time; Basquiat, Lari Pittman, Frank Auberback, Tracey Emin for example and presented this quote with the sketchbook for my paintings

 

'The human brain is a powerful pattern recognition machine recognising signs that may or may not exist'

Ceiling Brains and Road Signs.jpg
Change the Triggers.jpg

Degree Show

In the last year of university I was going through a depressive period again and these paintings kept me sane whilst keeping me awake.

8 pieces on inch thick wood encompassing conflicting environments; Paper, Wax, Spray Paint, Acrylic Paint, pen, carved into, Burnt wood

Top Row; Accumulated Vertigo, Maths and Heartache, Messed up, The Closer the lines the harder it is to escape

Lower Row; I'm a Shortcutted Candle, Colourful Curfew, Love is a Box, I see the Emptiness

There is a collection of poems to go with my degree show work. You can read some of these here