BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History
This series of paintings are a manifestation of the physical sensations experienced in a body with chronic illness. It is incredibly hard to express pain to those who are not experiencing it, leaving the person feeling isolated and broken. The pressures of hospital appointments and consultations does not allow thorough dialogue or understanding, especially when you have 5-10 minutes with a person you have never met. Part of surviving in a healthcare system - that rarely makes you feel seen or heard – is learning to block out the ‘noise’, turn on the autopilot. Being in pain 24/7 and still needing to get on with day-today tasks, does not allow for much physical introspection. My automatist method of painting allows me to unlock areas of expression, that would otherwise be inaccessible.
My choice of medium is incredibly significant and carries just as much importance as the paintings themselves. Working with ‘cold wax medium’ and oil paint lengthens the amount of time I can work on a painting. This offers much needed flexibility when my body flares up, without detriment to the quality of work or my physical health. ‘Cold wax medium’ has a rather viscous consistency, allowing layers to be added and taken away, almost like a form of sculpture. The process is a lived experience that effectively documents a period of time, based on what layers are added/taken.
Despite these paintings being a product of my own pain and illness, I do not want to influence the audience on what they might view the work as. Therefore, I name my paintings based on the predomination colour featuring in the artwork and do not add any further narrative. Although this may feel quite clinical, the emotion behind the piece is still present. It’s now up to the audience to discover it.