Art is about the qualities of life that make us human. My art focuses on the expectations imposed by society and how they impact my everyday living. I focus on the scientific aspects concerning depression, anxiety, stress, and so forth. For me, art is meant to strip the unreasonable expectations society imposes on those with mental illnesses and present the vulnerability of what it means to have a mental illness. To delve deeper, my work is an exploration into the attainability of being a “healthy” citizen. In a world where feelings are buried deep within oneself, questions arise if the pressure of “becoming better” can be seen as ethical or realistic. As I have worked with teenagers living with trauma, I have come to see the effects of trauma on mental health first-hand.
I previously worked at a therapeutic milieu for troubled teenagers. My position required
compassion, empathy, and an understanding of mental health. I have witnessed the challenges these students face that stem from their traumatic experiences, first hand. Working at this school opened my eyes to the impacts of trauma and the shame that can be felt by those who expose their mental health in non-therapeutic settings. These experiences have made me passionate about delving into the scientific and sociological aspects of mental health.
Working one-on-one with these adolescents has expanded my understanding of what it means to be vulnerable. Their courage is truly inspiring and has pushed my work in ways I could never have imagined. My current work is a raw reflection of my own trauma and mental state. Through color and mark I aim to produce an interaction with the viewer that challenges their comfort level. Mental health and trauma are considered to be “uncomfortable” topics that are normally taboo in polite discussions. My goal is to challenge viewers around these taboo topics through the vulnerability of my work.