Bipolar disorder, an illness that is the current focus of my work, is a mental health disorder that is defined by its mixed episodes of depression and mania. The depression of the disorder can be all encompassing, a sheet of black that layers over life. Depression doesn’t allow you to see the world moving around you. Life becomes an empty state of self-loathing, fear, and anxiety.
Manic episodes are filled with the adrenaline of the id. Pleasure seeking and delusions blur the lines of reality, one is left feeling untouchable. Morals and tact are left to wither in this state, as every decision only seeks to benefit the host. Mental health is a taboo subject within society, seen as myth, an object that should be able to be morphed by its creator. A label is created that weighs over the host, creating a submissive sense of revealing a true identity past the disease.
Bipolar disorder bring with it a series of judgments, admit it, and you’re treated cautiously, conceal it, and you snap behind it’s impending pressure.
The paintings form a view of this reality, one that is constantly shifting from being able to only see the empty void of a body, to the full lust of mania. I use canvas and panels of past paintings I have created, a symbol of the washing over of a new state, erasing the past in hopes of creating a new world. While I paint I scrape back to reveal the past mistakes, as they linger in the back of my head. Layers of black take over the picture plane as a sense of the voids of depression emerges. I begin to understand the depression. I layer over it as I would in my head, add white, a sense of hope over it, but the dominance of the black lingers. It becomes confined to its own box, one that is locked into its framework, inescapable. As the disorder switches to mania, the paint reveals the vivid colors of its passionate sense of correction, yet the framework of the disorder (this box) still remains. The geometric shapes within the work give stability and entrapment. The paint strokes reflect the anger and passion of this deciphering, and the impasto of the black becomes it’s own entity of depression. The black edges of the box are smooth and taped off, as it always remains; there is no shaking it off. Textures evolve as scars on a body, every layer gives evidence of past decisions.