So here’s a thing… Over the past few months I’ve been hibernating, incubating and immersing myself in my own creative processes. Deciding to shift my focus from solely expressive arts workshops/events to dedicating more time to my own art making practice once again.
This is something I haven’t done fully in around a decade, as my focus has primarily been on working with others. Although, I keep an ongoing reflective art making practice, this has been a purely personal process. Both, I have learnt are necessary for my self care & survival.
Born in the UK as a queer woman of Goan heritage and raised Catholic, there are limited sources of positive representation & role models for me. In most spaces, I must hide parts of my identity to fit in. In most spaces I am seen as different, Other. It is often quite challenging to exist fully. However, this lack of visibility has propelled me to stop hiding, to create representation for myself, and to take up space through existing platforms.
The themes of my work, as ever, include Feminine Power, Sexuality, Identity and Inclusion, as these happen to be very close to my heart. There are several pieces that I have been working on which I will look forward to sharing when they are ready!
In my latest piece and first piece, I had set out to visually portray two differing parts of self: one which I experience to be highly functional, able and very capable, and another in which I experience in my depressive & anxious states which restrict my ability to function ‘normally’.
What began as an image of me dissolving & disappearing became one in which I actually felt more a sense of emergence, showing up and building strength. What resulted for me, was a personal shift in perception, from experiencing difference negatively to being much more empowered to exist more confidently, through creative expression.
Mental Health & Therapeutic Arts
My journey with mental health has been tightly woven with my identity as a creative person. For me, art is a tool and a survival strategy, which I have utilised since childhood. Diagnosed with depression in my teens, it wasn’t long before I discovered the limits of biomedical interventions and have since used more holistic methods of healing. Inspired by the therapeutic benefits of the arts, I trained in Creative Expressive Therapies, and now facilitate workshops to nurture others in fostering personal transformation & growth.
You can see my work as part of the upcoming Invisible Illness Behind the Smile Exhibition, 26th Feb – 23rd March, 2018. The opening night and a chance to meet the artists will be on 3rd March, 2018 5.30pm – 8.30pm.