I was going to look at the work and life of Frida Kahlo this week to continue with my blogs exploring women in the arts throughout history, her life was an is extraordinary one. But I have decided to save that for another time. For this blog I have chosen to update my progress with the collection of work named ‘All Stitched Up’ exploring mental health and this blog is dedicated to some of this work. I have quite a collection of related pieces gathering up in my studio and I am looking to exhibit it all soon.
First on my list is named Mind the Memory created in 2020 (mixed media on a stretched canvas 150cm x 100 cm x 2cm) a title which is a pun on words from mind the gap and mind the step. This large piece is a part of a collection of work I created, that explores the internal feelings developed through memory.
Mind the Memory explores how memory forms an individual’s identity, without our memories our identities become lost. When all that we are, becomes forgotten, we no longer are. Our feelings which become all tied up and entwined within our subconscious selves, feelings which we cannot quite place or understand, these feelings are represented as, goldfishes, a butterfly, and dragonflies. There are bubbles, circles and repetitive patterns that signify pathways and connections with our inner selves. The stitches symbolize the threads that bind our memories to our identities. Abstract plants and leaves embody all the passing of time. The figure is walking further into time as she creates more of her identity through her life’s journey.
She is following paths, weaving through time, forming more memories to stitch into her identity.
Second piece is named This Love created in 2017 (mixed media on a stretched canvas 1oocm x 75 cm x 2cm) which shines a spotlight on the mental wellbeing of a woman who is about to embark on the journey of motherhood. The abstract impression is of a body that embodies another and tells a candid thought-provoking story with images and statemented words. My thoughts while creating this work were how taxing and exhausting pregnancy and motherhood was, yet at the same time so breathtakingly beautiful and profound.
One body embodying another, being used as a vessel as well as being life giving. There are lots of symbolic images here, the ring, the placement of words, the stitching, the twisted crouched body, and the flowers at her feet. These images are there to draw the onlooker into the picture to help them explore their own feelings towards pregnancy and motherhood.
The third is named Internal created in 2017 (mixed media on handmade paper 76 cm x 56 cm) This piece of work depicts the impact negative words have on a fragile mind. I used statemented words and symbolic imagery to engage the onlooker. I also created this piece with many layers and was quite harsh scratching off surfaces and was not very precious when making marks onto the paper. The words are written in graffiti all over her head and shoulders, representing feelings that she internalises and holds. Some letters are written the wrong way, showing confusion as to how she feels. There is a crack forming down through her head and her eyes are closed, she is unable to se the beauty that is in front of her.
My last piece is named The fallen Child created in 2020 (oil paint and mixed media 100cm x 30cm x 2cm) this piece explores a child struggling with mental health and wellbeing. Not having the words to express feelings and that they can easily fall through the gaps in our society and go unnoticed. Again, the stitching becomes symbolic, and her own art and drawings of the tadpole people are trying to help her not fall.
I have more pieces of art work relating to mental health which are also apart of the All Stitched Up collection of work and these pieces have not been seen yet. But I'll save them for another blog post, its Friday evening and I'm winding down for the night.
So thank you for reading my blog and I'll see you again real soon x