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"Initially I was very judgemental of my own work and I was quite hung up about how it should look and this was deeply unsatisfying because I wasn’t really expressing myself, so I decided to just go with how I felt rather than attempting to be ‘good’. This freedom led to pieces that were actually reflective of how I was feeling and gave me the release that I was hoping for.

During this episode I became deeply depressed and suicidal and I spent some time in hospital. It was around this time that I painted the picture with lots of dark colours. It was done using palette knives and I just layered lots of black and grey over colour and then scraped and spread it until I got the yellow coming through, which represents my hope for my mood to improve and for light to be in my life again. It was an incredibly satisfying piece to paint and the finished piece I felt was reflective of the darkness of depression but also the small gleam of hope I was trying hard to hold on to.

The other piece displayed here is an attempt to represent chaos and the sensory overload that comes with psychosis. Psychosis is a strange, difficult and often overwhelming thing to experience. Your thoughts get mixed up, everything is louder, you’re experiencing all of the sensory things that everyone else is experiencing but also having hallucinations on top and your sense of reality is difficult to keep hold of. This painting I just put colour over colour, with no plan of where it should go, I wanted it to be messy and intense, bright and unfocused as that is how my mind felt at the height of my psychosis.

Art has become one of my most effective coping mechanisms for my mental illness but also, now I am not in the depths of depression, it is fun and enjoyable. I think creative pursuits can help so much whilst coping with mental health issues and I think they can also show the people around you how you are feeling and they can express things you are having trouble expressing. This is why I decided to submit to The Perspective Project: in the hope that someone might see my pieces and be able to relate, understand something they didn’t before or feel less alone in a world where mental health issues are still very difficult to talk about"

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