Below are images where we used wool, sellotape and wire to wrap around the body to leave marks. The idea behind this was to represent self harm / mutilation. We bound the body which left marks on the skin. As in self harm, although the trauma is over, the evidence of the event remains.
Today I attended the Fine Art Dialogues Symposium at NUA.
Noel Douglas talked about this image, which I found particularly powerful as it is depicting how DWP can treat disabled people. This visual representation resonated with me as it sometimes feels like people with disabilities are left to struggle without much support…
Lately I’ve been wondering why amongst the mental health community there is so much competition to have the most symptoms, the roughest deal in life or who is struggling the worst.
It’s so so easy to focus on all things negative, but why is there a need to feel like you have to prove how ill you are and make it like some kind of goal to be at rock bottom?
I understand having to prove yourself and your illness to doctors and the government, but amongst peers it should not even cross someones mind to want to be iller or worse off than others, and try to seek some form of approval to have had the toughest time.
It seems to be really common amongst some of the people I have met and loved, which is quite sad.
Stating the obvious a little, this refers to the common term “They’ve got a screw loose”. Perhaps this comments on the stigma surrounding mental health.
9ct Gold Leaf & Resin
Referring to having a decent medication that finally works, which psychiatrists are reluctant to prescribe.
Plasters & Resin
The mental health system attempting to fix a problem by metaphorically putting a plaster on it and expecting it to heal like a physical wound.
Photograph & Resin
This is a slightly more complex one – taken from a mould of a medicine bottle which I was prescribed around the time of my diagnosis. Traces from the text from on label have imprinted on the resin.
The full label should read “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN, Hellesdon Hospital” but the side of the label is wrapped around the corner of the bottle and therefore just reads “KEEP OUT OF Hellesdon Hospital”.
This was significant to me as having been an inpatient, I hope to not return to hospital. The cast of the bottle contains a passport photograph of myself which is obscured by the bottles label, making the surface of the resin have a frosted appearance. To me this illustrates lack of identity as a service user.
Glitter & Resin
Seeing some posts from young adults on Tumblr that advertise mental health as a beautiful thing have completely shocked me. It’s not beautiful, its not fun and its certainly not something to flaunt. Perhaps I could’ve used red or black glitter here rather than an appealing colour.
Priadel / Lithium & Resin
I no longer use this medication hence why I have recycled it into an artwork. Lithium kept me stable for a long time but I felt blank and it was like having emulsion roller onto my emotions. I hope that my current medication will continue to keep me well so I do not have to go back to that state.
This piece is about mental health being treated by quick fixes – it is assumed that a MH problem can be solved by chucking medication at someone or by doing talking therapy, when in fact it is much more difficult and complex. There is no ‘cure’ for many conditions and they are ongoing, with anxiety heightening symptoms for the majority. Plasters are a visual representation of being able to fix something and in this piece of artwork they are used in excess, much like the way the mental health system uses medication to solve a MH problem.