What’s the link between the Moon and Seaweed? I’ll try to explain…
Any artist attempting to comment on her work faces an inescapable irony, since for her, drawing comes before writing; and creating precedes talking. The language of images, colours, lines and marks will always reach the brain before a word or sentence.
“I have reached a time where words no longer help…
…Description and analysis degrade,
Slipped land from what has been.”
Since I am dyslexic, this is especially true for me. I was halfway through a Fine Arts Degree before I was diagnosed as neurodiverse. So instead of finding myself in the giant university library surrounded by art books, rather I became immersed in the medical section amongst brain scans, reading wave charts, and gazing at rainbow neuron images.
The time spent drawing images of the brain was a struggle to make representational sense of internal complexities. My development as an artist began with a preoccupation with portraiture, heads and then brains. As a child, my writing was mirrored, and I needed an alternative visual language. Images and themes in my work emerged and then began to merge.
The initial theme was my distortion and confusion around language, expressed in repeated portrayals of a baby’s head. These images in time became increasingly abstract.
Veins neurones vines
Increasingly, my paintings showed blurring around the sensory and cognitive elements in the brain, sometimes, one side of the brain is often shrouded in darkness, like the moon. Also, like the moon, which as well as having a visible (though inscrutable) face, has its dark, unknown side. Its craters signify the dents and buffets expressed both internally, and out there in the world.
I have always found it easier to read through red. So as an artist, this colour has become my friend. Stitching in the work is both a literal and metaphorical expression of my striving to stitch together ideas and understanding – a struggle to piece together and make sense of my feelings; and perhaps to better integrate the two sides of a dyslexic brain.
The neural pathways which link the brain’s two hemispheres are also the source of my fascination came to correspond with similar shapes mirrored in the natural world. The tendrils of seaweed and branches merged with neuron images in my mind and the craters and crescents of the moon with brain scans and the shape of a cranium. I now understand that this expresses a yearning for healthily-extending neural complexity, the tendrils which reach for fuller understanding and wholeness.
And so to the tendrils of seaweed, laid bare by the retreating tide, pulled by the cosmic power of the moon.
This brief account of my work took me 2 weeks to write; to paint it would have taken me 2 days; but to understand it and work it through completely?