Can you identify as an artist with a disability without disabling your art?
I fabricate characters displaying acute mental trauma amongst trigger inducing settings. By visually describing internalised compulsive reactions through physical masks I create a breakdown of apparent control. This provokes troublesome questions on the idealised perceptions of mental stability within human psychological confinements. I am currently preparing to study my Masters in painting at the Royal College of Art as I can live independently for the first time since developing epilepsy in 2009.
Thanks to being awarded a scholarship I will now be able to get back to London to reinforce my practise.
After completing my BA at Wimbledon college of Art I suddenly developed severe epilepsy and this meant I had to leave London and move back to Brighton. Due to epilepsy I spent two years barely leaving my parents basement or hospital. Then with heavy medication I could finally confront painting after having a seizure. This typically causes my memory to be wiped and become unable to recognise my surroundings for several hours and am strongly affected for several days. I discovered that the process of painting reengaged my mental understanding in a significantly reduced amount of time. Painting activates cognitive functions that restore without doses of sedatives. Being diagnosed as disabled has had an impact on me and my art. It has contributed a new perspective to how I had approached work previously and has driven my fascination with physical and mental human stability. I have found disability language and am constantly confronted by contradictions. Am I mentally impaired, mentally disabled, suffering from a mental disorder or have a mental health problem? When approaching these words I don’t just find myself miss identifying but also frighteningly miss reading disability justice and the unsteady boarders surrounding the subject. Eternally Passionate about creating socially provocative work I aim to thrive as a reactionary artist dynamic in my overview when depicting confronting human anxieties. When continually questioning art being a truly subjective experience to the artist and viewer irrespective of social justice. I aim to develop my practice by scrutinising art as a medical treatment and approaching questions of weather art produced in relation to ability can be valued whilst under the concepts of equality and non-discrimination in the art market and in cultural institutions.