My art is everything to me, it is how I talk to others and myself. Through the narratives that act as the undertow to specific pieces, it is my outlet to reinforce a message, to shout and to scream and to try to heal and to help. It’s art with meaning and storytelling in its most real and honest form. That brings me onto ‘Lithium’ – the title piece to my Spring / Summer collection for 2023. Art is subjective but this is genuinely beautiful, for what it represents and the good that it can do through affiliation.
My ‘Storyteller’ works are without doubt the most intense from a conceptual complexity level, and I love how they can be interpreted to relate to another person’s experiences. Without doubt, it is the series of chapters based on the classic fairy-tale Snow White that has seen me return the most to continue the story. Yet the more pieces that I create across other subject matters and their characters, it has made me aware of how there is so much synergy between them, and I love that.
So ‘Lithium’ is the following chapter to an earlier piece entitled ‘Mirror Mirror’ where we saw Snow White’s empty glass coffin within the forest. It was showing that point where you either effectively seal your own coffin and choose your own fate through decision making or you allow help in to help you escape your ‘forest’. What I mean by that in reality is that this is no fairy-tale, there is no eureka moment or epiphany – instead it is a brutal journey shrouded in shadows and complete darkness, yet one that can twist and turn towards a beautiful light, one that brings warmth, comfort, and healing.
A method of depicting this journey is to link it to the changing seasons. It is darkness and light, shadows, and sunlight in its most literal form. This is where my past pieces come into play. Mental health has, and always will be a driving force within my art, I wish it wasn’t but if it helps then I am glad that through affiliation I have built a portfolio of art that can do genuine good. ‘For Now I’m Winter’ and ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ convey the same message and remind ourselves that Spring will follow Winter and that brighter, happier days will come.
A more recent piece ‘Fight or Flight’ is based on ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, but it flows beautifully with ‘Lithium’ through it portraying this ‘journey’ and the battles that lay ahead.It was this piece that made me debate whether Snow White should have her hood up but without a doubt no. The driving force for this piece and its narrative is to open your eyes, to look within. To soul search to find strength and to start to walk forwards. Lift your head up, instil self-worth, hold your damned head up!
What we see is that point, where she is tentatively walking away from her ‘Winter’ towards her ‘Spring’. Such Winters can, and do last way longer than a few months. Days are shorter, darker, and claustrophobic, there is barely any light. This world becomes normality and there is seemingly no way out or will to fight. Laying amongst the shadows means out of sight and out of mind, no more burden. Here in the darkness, you know yourself. Cold rain drowns your will to fly, you can’t break free until you let it go. Seemingly gone but not forgotten. Never!
Every forest, no matter how dense and dark has its clearing, its way out. ‘Winter’ can leave you frozen in fear, cold as ice to the chance to change. Yet your future is not set in stone, chip away at it, carve a path, baby steps, focus. Hold your head up! Just like in meteorological terms, Spring can take longer to show that it is coming but it always comes. The first snow drops to bloom are the ones with the strongest roots, that rise upwards to catch the first warmth of Spring and with that brings happiness to others, keep growing.
Inner strength, self-worth, self-belief, and trust in others combine to help you on your journey into Spring, to keep building and strengthening to embrace Summer. Of course, even amongst the brightest of sunshine, shadows are cast, and warmth can fade but it is that strength and momentum gained beforehand that will set you up for when the light dwindles. Let others help you, guide you. Some are nearer than you realise, others watch from a distance. For others, the best you can hope for is so far short of what you need but draw strength through their spirit that drives yours. Whilst every day will be different, and obstacles may block your path, one thing that is for certain is that you are never, ever on your own.
So, it’s time to grow in Spring, Winter has passed, yes it will return but not like that. You’re stronger and will continue to find strength. Loved ones will embrace your achievements. Keep walking forwards, hold your head up. Don’t you dare give up! Don’t you fucking dare! x