I’m going back to deep emotions and unsettling anxiety for this series. I’ve shied away from my own elements of anxiety in my earlier pieces, trying to keep at a distance from the work I put on canvas, which is exactly the feeling it created after I finished a piece—a sense of distance. I didn’t know exactly where I was getting the inspiration from. Sometimes, it was a colour scheme or a location, but I didn’t quite know. I didn’t quite connect. I didn’t quite feel the painting.
I have always been drawn to texture, layers and abrasions, elements that physically change the depth and force of a painting.
This series feels like coming home to an intensity, a raw scraping, a manic state, which is what anxiety feels like for me, a grating against the nerve. I want people to feel the struggle and complexity in my work, and I want them to know it is okay.
I’m using tools like forks and dried plants and layers, peeling those layers back and covering them up again. I want each piece to feel like the process of intensive therapy. Digging deep, discovering scary wounds, dissociating, coming back. Sometimes we learn a layer about ourselves, and under it is another layer. Sometimes, we cover up a wound that didn’t get enough light, that we quickly wanted to forget about so we rushed the healing. This process can be so ugly, but on the other side there is calm. Light. Hope. An insane amount of love for self. Acceptance.
I am learning to be empowered by the intensity of my anxiety. I get to live through a lot of raw emotions and come out on the other side imperfect, wobbly and continuously open. I want my intensity to show here, because I want people to know that intensity is okay.