I CAN’T STAND IT: A MULTI-MEDIA EXPLORATION OF MEMORY AND EMOTION
My drawing practice focuses on themes around memory, sentimentality, and individual disposition, framed via a conceptual representation of personal experience. This is shown through soft gestural graphite and coloured pencil drawings, depicting winged forms, birds or angels, contorted figures, and themes around naturalism, symbolism, and metaphor. I utilise a muted colour palette, working mainly with olive greens and subtle colours. I consider the desaturated colour and use of pencil as a way of highlighting feelings of ephemerality within my work, almost like fleeting memories.
The material feeling of paper is central to my practice. In Untitled 2 the use of overlapping paper is used to evoke the notion of frosted glass, arousing associations to having an unclear memory. I Will Never Be the Artist I Want to Be forms as a dizzying spiral of stream of consciousness. Additionally, my drawing employs naturalist imageries (re-occurring wing/bird imagery, bugs and fish) along with moments of evoking our human experience (the anxieties of a seven-year-old; the collection of sentimental items). Each of these approaches to creating drawings forms a melancholic display of free associations around memory, transition or circular and spiral thoughts.
My works are an exercise in personal vulnerability. One of the first works I showed was titled Things I Can No Longer Enjoy—a small, embroidered list of objects and smells, strongly pertaining to traumas that I have experienced. This drawing, and the showing of this work forms in my memory as a personally unnerving moment. These ephemeral and indefinable elements in my drawings evoke many personal instances within my life, and this is sometimes difficult. However, through these memory drawings I invite the viewer to intimately engage with each work, to perhaps experience thoughts that are located within indeterminate feelings. I invite the viewer to engage with my work on a personal level, hoping that they may relate my associations of childhood, loss, and sentimentality.
‘i am not religious. i used to kneel at the end of my bed when i was 7, hands clasped and head bowed praying to god that my family would forever be safe, that my parents would never die and my friends be happy forever. please lord i’m only 7. i don’t know how tiny little me was able to handle the weight of those emotions, the painful anxiety—i can barely handle it now. it blossoms and breaks through me starting at my chest, a heavy hurt that makes its way into my throat and chokes me up. i feel it in the back of my arms, in my hands, my thigh muscles tensing. i want my family to be safe, i never want my parents to die, i want my friends to be happy forever.’