The More you try to erase me the more I will appear

My apologies for the long period between blogs, (for anyone out there taking notice!) but I have had a long period of being incapacitated.

Spending days and even weeks in isolation and darkness, in pain and not sleeping can be very challenging for your mental health. One way that I deal with this, besides the loving support from my family, is to explore these feelings through my artwork.

The degenerative nature of my disability, and these periods of dark isolation in contrast to those beautiful days where I can get out and enjoy life, drive the conceptual content behind the way I make work.

I haven’t been able to get into my studio recently, but the image shown in this blog is something I have manipulated this week. It utilises photography; painting and digital processes to explore the patterns and colours that come from the degradation of image. This aesthetic is something that has to be discovered, rather than planned, providing both positive and negative effects, much like my illness.

It is part of a series of work that I have titled Light in Dark Places, images that explore the ideas I have just mentioned, whilst also making references to the music I listen to when I am bed-bound or unwell. As I find it increasingly difficult to get to galleries, music has become my primary influence for both subject and process. The rich layering of sound, complementing the lyrical narrative and emotion of the music are things that I attempt to visualise.

“The more you try to erase me the more I will appear” is a lyric from a Radiohead song, the image uses my own reflection/shadow to provide the shape within the image that is most visible and vibrant. Contrasting against the bleached, highlighted shapes that are created by the bright sky outside (behind me).

I effectively create a camera obscurer, either in a darkened room using light entering through the window, or by finding a dark enclosure in nature, such as woods, and using the light and colours of the day, shining in through the canopy, casting my shadow/silhouette onto a pre-selected artwork. This way, the work becomes a collective response of me; my artwork; the location I’m in and the specific light/colour and weather of that particular day. Making the work unique to that day, and unrepeatable.

This practice is specifically used for this series of work (Light in Dark Places) and hopefully the title of this series starts to make sense alongside how my disability affects me.