So, I’m currently in the middle of Derbyshire Open Arts, just day 4 to go. I must remember to take my camera tomorrow and get some better shots of my fellow exhibitors work!
In the meantime I wanted to bear my soul a little. In my last post I made a reference to an illness preventing me from working with leather.
In truth, my illness has been with me for around 25 years now. It is depression. There, I’ve said it outloud. During my ‘downtime’ from craft, I rediscovered a love of painting. I used my paints to release my thoughts and feelings onto paper or canvas. It is the first time in a long time that I went through a full creative process with each piece.
I’ve been speaking to visitors to the exhibition about the story and meaning behind each of my paintings. Some people are polite, some confused, but increasingly a number of people could relate to them. To stand and speak openly with complete strangers about mental health problems has been inspirational to me.
So, I wanted to tell you the story of my 3 paintings:-
“Lonely”, shows someone trapped in a self imposed bubble, trying without success to keep the bad stuff out, it drip feeds in regardless. By trying to hide away from the bad, the good things are also locked away, the things we need to get through the day. Strength, security, love, happiness, light, laughter, beauty etc.
For me, there is something else. There is always something missing, some void, like a hole in my soul and I can not tell you what I need to fill it. So, if you look, you can see the empty cell.
“Lifeline” depicts the struggle to get out of that dark place. Lifelines can come in all shapes and sizes, but it is only the person themselves who can finally reach out and grab hold.
If you look at the bottom of the picture above you will find thorns. This work shows that if you can get beyond the thorns and travel up the stem you will come to buds and finally to fully open blossom.
So, what I have said to people today is that the pictures are meant to show a journey, from something so seemingly hopeless right the way through to turning your face fully to the sun.