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Brain Landscapes

An ongoing project delving into the imagery left by trauma.  

"When the clutter in my head becomes so noisy that I can’t function, I reach for a black pen and I draw. It begins to calm my brain, leaving me able to think a little clearer. I use repetition, in lines, crosshatching and scribbles. I call them Brain Landscapes. It’s my way of expelling what goes on inside my head. 

The ‘noise’ is persistent unwanted negative thoughts and emotions that are almost impossible to shift; no amount of mindfulness calms them. Sometimes violent, always doggedly loud, the relentless subconscious mind throws fractured memories at me. Pictures appear like a high speed flicking photo album, bombarding me with not just the image but the corresponding emotion, feeling or sensation. It happens all too quickly to catch, pin down or to make sense of. It just leaves me battered and exhausted. 

Drawing in this way decreases the impact. I draw lines over and over again and create a web of crosshatching. The more intense the feeling the more layers I produce, the darker the image. If I’m angry and need a way to release it, I scribble furiously. At these times the pen is close to tearing straight through the paper. At other times I sit quietly, producing page after page of these Brain Landscapes with just the noise of the pen scratching the paper.

Exhibited as part of the neXus 2020: a multi-venue international art exchange organised and curated by Urbanflo Creative, with online galleries at Photofringe and Vrystaatkunstefees.

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