2017 Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight is a deeply personal journey of intense psychological scrutiny, exploring the physical manifestations of a psyche in turmoil.  This work is centred around my personal experience of eating disorders and mental illness over the past twelve years, as well as exploring wider themes of grief, yearning, confusion, despair and finally, hope.  Many of these works also contain a hint of dark humour, as the figure (myself) appears to struggle with various items of clothing as though in conflict with them.  This awkwardness represents the discomfort I feel within my own body, but it is also a broader metaphor for the disconnect between our inner and outer worlds; between the mental self and the physical self.  In some ways these drawings illustrate the human condition, the frustration of being a consciousness that is capable of almost anything - in fact is miraculous by its very existence - encased within a somewhat clumsy hunk of flesh that will not necessarily always comply. 


For me these drawings are a form of exposure therapy:  it is work that I need to do in order to process the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that have dominated my life for so long and begin to understand them - to depict these things so publicly is both terrifying and liberating.  But just as I am "hiding in plain sight", I would insinuate that we all are to some degree.  At some stage in our lives we all experience some form of mental distress - it might be grief, it might be longing, it might be regret.  Most of us can keep these emotions at bay and find ways of coping so that we can continue to function in the world.  It is a fine line between those who can and those who can't, and my way of coping and making meaning out of my life experiences is through my drawing.