Welcome to my laboratory where I explore the hidden faces and emotions of the human mind. Psychological disorders, mental illness, emotional instability, whatever you want to call them they affect more people than some of you might expect.
My exhibition is about a show, a performance, an experience. Heart and soul are portrayed on the canvas exploring a variety of emotions such as guilt, shame, fear etc. When exploring the ideas of depression, eating disorders and everyday situations that tear ourselves apart, I hope to reach my audience and share that experience. I want them to know that they are not alone and establish a window for insight into these experiences. Not finding the right words to describe these feelings or being scared to say them out loud. The works might make the audience feel personally spoken to. It might also help them understand people with these conditions. I am not interested in creating work that you want to display on your wall. I want to create an emotional message through imagery that is a combination of realism and imagination. A message that hits you directly in your face and takes your breath away. It might shock you, make you feel saddened, feel discomfort, but I will not have succeeded if you leave my exhibition unaffected. Having a lot of acquaintances who have suffered has, contributed to the making of the body of work. Every piece has its’ own story to tell but all of them have threads connected to the theme of psychology and the delicacy and power of our minds.
The work “Explosion” is pivotal to the rest of the work. I love the way watercolor behaves with the addition of water. Its gentle flow absorbing and eating itself further into the paper. It is the image with the most detail and the one that has the greatest amount of personal and hidden meanings. Letting the water take over makes you lose control over the outcome. A zero-point paintbrush has become my best companion over the past years. It enables me to add the fine brush strokes that a profile portrait this fragile requires.
One of my initial influences was Pat Perry. Coming back to my image “Explosion” and comparing it to Pat Perry’s image “Outlived” you can find some similarities. Both resemble a profile portrait and the story of that individual is drawn within their head expanding itself beyond the skull’s regular form. On communicating with Pat Perry directly, I have found out that he himself has been surrounded by people suffering from mental illness all his life. In addition, even though he did not have the intention to showcase mental illnesses it became to absorbed into his psyche and his art. Most of Pat Perry's work seems to inadvertently have the aspect of my Theme.
Using contrast and scale within the installation takes the audience, up close on a personal level into the psychologist’s chair. Even though most of my images are straightforward, they embody symbolism that necessitates the audience to reflect and detain for deeper examination. Colour is only used when creating a contrast or makes an object stand out from the pitch-dark background. This drags the viewers’ attention to the message that I want to come across. For instance, in “No thoughts, no feelings, no problems” the heart and the brain are painted in colour whereas the rest of the figure is drawn in darker shades. Similarly, the technique has been the same for “Chocolate Cake” where each strand of hair is drawn individually. The formal elements were used to control the viewers emotions.
I want the audience to enter a new world, the world of the abnormal psychology that is often horrifying and gives us a sense of pathos. My exhibition has the gloomy atmosphere of an old science lab were the exploration of abnormal psychology started. My pieces can be understood when seen alone but are enhanced when seen as a collection. When the skeleton of the old science lab is seen metaphorically, it creates a mind palace, the puzzle pieces of your unconscious mind, each bottle or draw contains a different memory or a diverse thought. Each piece of my exhibition is interactive with the viewer, meaning that my theme of psychology is portrait in each of my pieces, reaching into your heart, mind and soul.