(The blog below is about a project I have now finished. Any images I receive after the 29th April will unfortunately not be used. Thank you to anybody who sent me work to able to make this project successful.)
As an artist who creates work around mental health I wanted to reach out and collaborate with other people. I’ve always liked the idea of doing this but communicating verbally with people is difficult, especially if I don’t know them. In this project I’ll be taking myself out of my comfort zone and allowing others to take something very valuable to me. My control.
As some of you may know, it’s possible that I may be on the autistic spectrum. A lot of people on the spectrum struggle with anxiety, and that includes me. While I can’t control the anxiety itself, I can control the variables that can affect the anxiety. For example, travelling makes me anxious about needing the toilet, but I can subdue those feelings by making sure I can plan out a route with various options for using a loo.
What I propose for this collaborative project is for you to draw something, which I’ll then respond to with my art. Start with a shape.This shape can be a response to how you’re feeling right now, or to your mental health as a whole. I have no control over what you choose to create, only over the visual response I create to the image you send.This is to recreate my relationship with control and how I cope when I don’t have it. Then you can (if you want) respond to my shapes (below) in the same way. Draw, paint, scribble—do whatever you feel like to the image. It’s interesting to see how other people overcome difficulties, and this will be a representation of that.
Below is the image Alan Gardner, from the Channel 4 show “The Autistic Gardener”, has drawn in response to the brief, alongside my shapes.
He has created a shape that I will then paint over on a separate sheet of A4 perspex, so while I won’t alter the actual image I’ll still work with it. Alan’s response,an embodiment of his stress, can be formed into an aggressive monster with teeth protruding from places there shouldn’t be.
Anyone can submit and take part, especially with responding to my shape,but please understand that I can only create eight paintings for this project for now so don’t be upset if your design is not chosen.
List of requirements:
- An A4 Drawing in either pen or pencil. No coloured pictures.
- The drawing is a shape or pattern and not a specific object (not an actual monster)
- Take a photograph or a scan of your drawing to the email address below (photographs must have the entire image in frame as it will be used as a reference)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject as “Not my Problem” followed by your name as they will be referenced when the work is released. Attach your drawing to the email.
- Do not let me know what emotions or feelings made you draw the shape. That will change how I view the shape and will impact what I draw from it.
To anyone who is unfamiliar with my work the final pieces will be brightly coloured and similar to the image below. My monsters come from various approaches to mental health so taking away some of my control will allow me to create something new.
And remember, have fun!!
Below is my response to the brief. You can also choose to make some art about your mental health! If you choose to do so tag me on twitter @messymiscreate so I can see your responses!