This is the first post after a four-month break. My mental health has been poor and it’s been a challenge to blog as most of my energy has been directed into day to day coping. I am entering a calmer phase and back in the studio making small bits of work for Rossendale Art Trail that takes place October 5th & 6th 2019. Thankfully, I took images of artwork and wrote in my journal which has been useful.

I painted this in late February.

It depicts two rocks separated by a rough & stormy sea, a metaphor for the relationship that unfolded in the following few months.

Other work involved dark sea-related images representing subconscious fears from the past.

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As my mental health worsened my artwork became darker & more abstract

Some of these I later worked into with pen & ink

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In April I began work on another textile sculpture, sewing into dissolvable fabric & adding wire.

 

 

This is the finished piece:

 

 

This seemed to reflect the increasing sense of dissociation & trying to hold onto a sense of myself that was just out of reach & very fragile. I particularly liked the shadows.

Here is a close up of the stitching once I had removed the dissolvable fabric

Working with my therapist he suggested I needed a safe transitional space in which to locate small parts of myself so I began to make a pocket with a small figure

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I made this small book which I put into the top section.

I decided to make an apron with pockets in which to put small figures

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Here are more pockets that I intend to sew onto a larger garment

 

 

I made three figures

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I’m not sure why I stopped making the figures or the pockets but the process seemed to end & I became very focused on fences & the pattern made by fence poles.

 

 

From this imagery, I have been drawing

 

 

 

From these drawings, I painted this

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And made this textile piece

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And some paper-based work:

 

 

 

A few days ago I begun to have regular meetings with my internal parts & alongside daily meditation have reached some agreements about what work I intend to develop, this will focus on fences & stitching & so for the past few days I have been dyeing fabric in an indigo dye bath in preparation for making small textile pieces. The theme will be about repair using slow repetitive stitch to signify the small, daily incremental steps towards health once more.

I know that I will relapse again but I retain the hope that keeping a daily ritual of quiet self-care through meetings & agreements will reduce the severity of future triggers.

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