I was genuinely shocked when I opened up the email from Loughborough University, accepting my application for the Artist Benevolent Fund. As I graduated over a year a go I have been trying to juggle part time jobs, applying for exhibitions, volunteering and making art work. With so many knock backs this has enabled me to believe in myself once again.
I have been in the studio for a week now, and the smile has not left my face. University was somewhere I once struggled to even walk into, but yet here I am back again excited about the endless possibilities. I have been able to freely experiment, and make a mess – I mean “artwork” all over again. I am honoured, proud and so excited for the year ahead! I have so many new ideas and can’t wait to develop myself as an artist, work alongside Emily Hett and the university staff.
So let’s talk a little bit about my artwork, and what I do exactly. My aim is to create conversation about mental health. I have struggled with mine and I have hidden it from others, putting on that show, pretending everything is okay, and I must say it does get tiring. Others would be shocked when they found out, “Oh really? You seem so confident!” But I think if you are reading this, and you yourself have had these struggles, I think you can understand this “act” we put on. Hoping one day that we may actually convince ourselves that everything is okay.
I am sure I will go into more detail in another post about how repetition and drawing is so important to my practice. The basics are: by repeating a phrase over and over again, it becomes meaningless, it becomes detached from the mind. This process is called cognitive defusion. So I write a phrase over and over again until it loses the meaning. Simple really?