Philip Chandler – Identity
The two paintings I include here are about mental health, specifically in this case depression. I worked closely with my subject (who suffers from long term depression) trying to understand how this affects her life on a day to day basis, but also how each individual is affected differently from the next. Throughout our discussions I decided that to best represent both a sufferer of depression and an outsider trying to understand, we must both represent our own separate understandings in one combined piece of art work.
The works created came about through three stages. The background represents my understanding of depression as an outsider, where I used techniques of abstract expressionism to try and capture the emotions through colour palette, textures and application of paint. Then the portrait, my direct representation of the subject, is followed by a final layer of over working created by the subject herself. She was encouraged that nothing she could do on these works would be wrong, and to purely do whatever came naturally in order to produce the most accurate representation of her mind and experience.
Through completing this process and producing these two final works, I gained an understanding of the difficulties that can arise from attempting to understand someone else’s experience of an invisible illness, and therefore question the methods of categorising individuals and subsequently prescribing identical treatment.
Included with the images of the work are two statements made by the subject, reflecting on the over workings she had done.
Find Philip here: philipchandlerart.wordpress.com