Artist of the Month March 2017
Each month we select one artist from our online galleries to be Outside In's Artist of the Month. For March 2017 we have chosen ceramicist Equiluxarts.
I feel like it's necessary to have a little introduction part before answering the following questions!
Sometimes our lives are divided by major events divided in to “before” and “after”. The artwork displayed is related to “after”, as are my answers to these questions; after a two year battle for our daughter's mental health recovery from personality disorder and after her passing away in the mental health institution from lethal self harming incident.
When and how did your interest in art develop?
I've been making things since I remember myself, at the age of three I made a bet with my sister that “ when I will grow up” I will be an artist. I guess she owes me that 1 Euro.
Since the passing of my daughter I stopped doing many things like canoeing in whitewater and also any creative expression in clay. One year after I learned to enjoy the physical feeling of clay by making the simplest pinch pot shapes. I did not dare to
make sculpture in fear to expose the soul breaking emotions. It was after one of my therapists “pushed” me into expressing what I feel and not to feel guilt about not making “uplifting and happy” art. That's how my current body of art developed. Which
might not be pretty or perfect technically but undoubtedly is honest and displays raw emotion.
What influences your art?
Currently my art is mainly influenced by the complexity of the pain from loosing my beautiful daughter, by a sense of duty and love towards my other fantastic daughter and the love of my life Steve. It is influenced by endless attempts to survive the
unimaginable catastrophe after your world has collapsed after loosing the most precious thing you have, your child.
What process do you go through when you are creating a piece?
The initial idea is a wage feeling, then it starts to take shape and sense of the right medium, sometimes it's a sketch on the paper or a quick sketch in clay. The following making process usually evolves independently of initial idea. It progresses by itself directed by clay and emotion. My hands become simply tools which follow momentum of syntheses of material and human emotion.
Which artists, if any, have you drawn inspiration from?
While admiring work of many visual artists my inspiration more often is drawn from the written word, sometimes songs. Just to name some of the artist who use words as their medium; Shinji Moon a wonderful young poet and author of the beautiful book
The Anatomy of Being, Kahlil Gibran with his work Prophet. Their words touched my soul and resulted in creations in clay……
Do you have a favourite piece? If so, which one and why?
There are actually two pieces I have made that are dear to me. One is a small sculpture of my daughter who passed away, the sculpture was made almost ten years ago when we
were going through her teenage years, this sculpture is an attempt to see the beautiful and so lovable little girl behind the “Emo” and rebellion. The other piece is from my Sun & Moon black clay 'kitchen' range, its just feel 'right' and warm.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
This a physical display of a mother's journey of acceptance after the loss of her daughter. Words cannot describe the emotions that come with such a tragic loss, but the emotional context within the sculptures translates to a more powerful representation of the evolution of the personal emotional state.
People can view each piece and experience their own emotions that each sculpture brings. They may not see or experience the same state as the artist, but will take a sense of insight into the artists state of mind.
What has been the highlight of your artistic career?
While for the most of my life, the art making had to take a secondary role after the primary job, I guess that for me as an artist the highlights are times when I share my skills with others and can see how a simple piece of clay can make a real difference in someone's life, even if it lasts only for a short moment, it's a valuable moment of escape and solitude.
While being admitted to mental health hospital I facilitated a pottery sessions and feedback from staff and fellow patients was overwhelming.
Currently due to my very fragile state of mind since the loss of my daughter not being able to engage personal with shows and galleries to give my artwork exposure I found and online venue which not just gives the boost to my artistic self but also
proved to be a wast pool of inspiration. While I almost stopped using social media Instagram proved to be a wonderful outlet to showcase my work to magically supporting, inspiring and encouraging audience with over 700 followers.
Has being a part of Outside In been beneficial for you? If so, how?
Even if I have been a part of Outside in only a very short period of time it has a wonderful pool of artists and excess of fascinating and inspiring stories also wonderful array of resources for artists which Im really looking forward to browse
What is next for you as an artist?
Im looking forward to finding a willing venue for my latest work, an exhibition titled “On the Edge and In-between or journey towards acceptance an heeling.” The concept of exhibition is The purpose of the Exhibition is to draw attention to Mental Health issues in Young People. Self Harm and Personality Disorders are merely the tip of the iceberg, but its through personal experience of these areas that we can bring awareness of much wider ranging issues and the devastating effects and repercussions that impact not just the victim, but those who love, support and fight alongside them throughout this period in their lives. Tragically there is not always a happy ending, as in our case.
There is no preparation, guidelines or instruction book on how to process and deal with such a tragedy and we must each find our own path of acceptance and deal with it in our own way. Its easy to lead a path to self destruction, lose hope and simply give up, but to fight and confront the unfair and unjust will eventually lead to the understanding that we crave.
How we do this is down to each of us as individuals. Through art I can see shape, structure, emotion and myself portrayed in a functional form. To me its relatable, a moment captured in time, a measurement of where I was to where I am now. I still spend days craving the embrace of a handful of pills to end the turmoil, bury myself as best as I can in a bottle of wine to take the edge off and constantly fight the overwhelming anxiety that sweeps over my like an unwanted visitor, but I fight on, focus on my art as and when I mind allows me and hopefully fight each day towards understanding of both the loss of my daughter and my own sense of worth. I also look forward as I progress in my own recovery, to return to the psychiatric hospital as a volunteer and give the opportunity to more people going through this frightening experience of not having full control over your life, to experience soothing and catalytic power of clay.