Many people live silently with mental health problems, with few understanding the impact it can have. Siris Hill’s work visually describes the effects that mental health and psychological conditions have on an individual. His practice reflects his own realities of living with trauma and mental illness, and investigates the social obstructions and the loss of identity his illness presents.
Art has become a purposeful activity that requires a considerable amount of discipline. Such requirements enable him to enter an alternate mind-state, one that is completely serene. Each painting can take several weeks, his focus is absolute, allowing him to escape the stream of anxiety and negative thoughts that he is plagued with. Once completed, he proceeds to torture the subjects, skinning the canvas, or painting over and smearing them with his hand. It’s through this destructive stage that both brutality and sentiment intertwines into his work. Siris battles multiple physical and mental health problems which has meant he is unable to use oils due to the fumes. To combat this he has studied digital painting alongside the techniques of 17th-century artists to transfer traditional techniques over into the digital medium in an attempt to paint as similar in technique to the oil painters he admires. The making of art is therapeutic and defacing the work allows Hill to release things he holds deep inside. The final stage is sharing the work publicly, it is hoped that through the audience’s engagement with the work, others will have a greater understanding of the impact of mental illness upon individuals. The overall goal is to challenge perceptions of mental illness, reduce stigma and start conversations about mental health.
Find out more about Siris on his website.