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Week eight – Brain on Fire.

For this week I want to begin with some reflection and another attempt to vulnerable. I’ve struggled with mental health issues ever since I was a kid, I try my best to “keep keeping on” but the past week has been a spiral for me. If I’m really pushing myself to be honest, I think Mother’s Day really set me off. I have a reasonably good relationship with my mum, but I think everyone has a sore spot that makes that relationship complicated. It’s made me question the role my identity plays in this project, I haven’t been painting objects with my bad experiences in mind, despite the fact the make up a significant bout of my personal history and even my current life. In my earlier research I discussed feminine rage, I think my connection to the topic is held very deeply in my traumas. Again, the same question is arising, how can I express these parts of myself? 

To move forwards I’m going to brainstorm some possible objects I can visit in my work and a short explantation as to why I could use these objects; Bra (Boob prison), Sanitary products ( Period shame), Ashtrays (my step dad smokes in the house and uses everything and anything as an ashtray), My inhalers ( I should use them but I always forget), Medication ( I was on anti depressants for some time and am considering trying them again), Weighing scales (I’ve often struggles with my eight and self image), Vape (I’m back using them again after quitting for a long time), Art supplies (I’m an artist after all), Cats (I had a therapy cat growing up, he was a kitten when I saw born and he passed away when I was 18, very much felt like the death of my childhood), Jewellery (I love sparky things, maybe because I didn’t grow up being able to have them), Keys (multiple reasons but mainly the way that I feel very displaced and that I don’t really have a “home” of my own), PS5 controller (Video games are a passion of mine, escapism and something me and my girlfriend do together a lot), Lesbian symbolism (Being a queer woman I a huge part of my identity) Makeup (How I express my identity further, goth subculture is a big part of my family) Music? ( Gigs and music has always been a huge part of my life and is something I got from my dad), Baggies (Iv’e seen first hand the effects of addiction) My phone (growing up with social media has a huge effect on a lot of people around my age, I also think it came with unique problems and traumas).

I could go on with more things but I think the list is long enough currently, overall I found brainstorming these items to be a very helpful activity. I think I have more insight into what I want to do next and also into myself a bit more.


This week I started two new canvases as well as adding more objects to my first canvas. The first canvas (left) of my cat jess, it doesn’t really look like her and overall, I’m not very happy with the overall “vibe” of the addition. Obviously me being unhappy with a work is part of my experiment and the process, I could paint over it but wouldn’t that defeat the point? for the next painting (the middle) I stated painting my PS5 controller, I ran out of time before I could do any shadows but I’m still fairly happy with it as a stating object for the canvas, later in the week I decided to add another cat and retry my original idea. What was interesting about the experiment is I was interrupted only about 8 minutes into the painting, so technically I still had 7 minutes left, should I use his time remaining? Finally, I added on to the first canvas I worked with, adding in a bra and my medication. I think that this development solidified the decision I made last week to build upon the canvas’s, pushing the eclectic understanding I have with my work. Another question I had of myself is regarding the medication, I was painting a box of sertraline tablets (anti-depressants) but I never got round to painting the label of the box, so the medication is unknown to the viewer. Should I add in this detail as it is significant to why the object was included in the piece in the first place? 


I wanted to end this week with some light research, Miranda recommended I read an interview piece called “A brush with… Tal R”. Ive chosen to atatch quote from the interview which I personally very drawn to. I really enjoy the “man on skis” idea, in reflection I tried to think what would I be in mu simplest form? but by doing so I thought to deeply about myself and defeated the point.

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