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Et in Arcadia Ego

Alex Taylor


"This piece explores the effects abuse, and the monstrosity of the abuser. “Et in arcadia ego” – meaning “Even in Arcadia (utopia) there I am”, the title and theme of this piece. Our abusers, and the effects of abuse haunt us. It may not be in everything or everywhere, but it is in anything, anywhere, and at any time. Even in the best of moments, a memory might be triggered, or we may feel the effects of a mental illness developed as a consequence of the abuse. We are never entirely free of this monstrosity tethered to our backs."

AZBT/Alexander Taylor, born British and raised in Paris France, is a 20-year-old artist/illustrator who’s work reflects his exploration of identity and experiences of mental illness and abuse. Having lived and studied for two years in Hong Kong, as well as spending several months working as a radio host in Senegal, he has experienced various degrees of understanding towards his Queer Identity and mental illness. These experiences have developed into fundamental drivers in his pursuit for equality and understanding.

His passion for art, though originally born out of envy at his elder sisters’ artistic prowess, grew as he did over the years into an indispensable coping skill, paramount to his survival and recovery. Having had his life saved, quite literally, more than once by the creative process, he seeks to reach those who may feel isolated in their experiences. For example, his work exhibited in Poptart Gallery’s ‘Tableau II’ which raised awareness and funds for LGBT homelessness in the UK, or his most recent project “Recovering Colour”, a mental health and recovery colouring book.

Currently studying Digital Arts Computing at Goldsmiths University of London, Alexander continues to expand the mediums he uses to explore themes of mental illness and identity. He is working to improve his artistic ability, his understanding of himself, and the world’s understanding of the various experiences that have affected him and far too many others, in an ultimate effort towards people attempting greater kindness towards themselves and each other.

See more of Alex's work on Instagram.

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