The More They Try To Protect Us, The More We're (trapped) Within
Today my art work was delivered to the Accrington Library, to be shown as part of Access All Areas Festival 2014. I kept that quiet didn't I? Yes I did, for a multitude of reasons, predominantly though, because I have no faith in my own work. Part of the selection panel was artist Jez Dolan, and I'm am so humbled at being chosen, really I am.
I still get so many knock-backs when I apply to exhibitions, so I know exactly how it feels to put so much effort and love into an artwork and the subsequent proposal pack, just to be told, "You have not been successful". It hurts, it really does. Especially when you think that your end product is actually alright. It can be so difficult at times to keep trying, but then, it all comes up and someone goes, yeah I'll take a shot on you.
Earlier this year I was slightly concerned that I'd only got one exhibition lined up for this year (Telling Stories 2 in Sevenoaks) and now I've had to rush slightly to complete the works for this one. I'll talk about the works in more detail once the private view has come and gone (6th June, 6.00-8.00pm, First Floor, Accrington Library, Lancaster, go check it out if you like). For now though, deep breaths, I can do this.
I know now what I'm doing with my sculptural pieces, with my installations, and that is fuelling my fire. The pieces I have been steadily creating out of university are showing my take on the world, my thoughts, my inspirations and my style. Which is awesome.
This though, all involves me grasping my identity with both hands and wearing it. It's no secret I have a mental health condition, I gave up trying to hide it, because I realised it was futile. Those that read often or know me know I have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), which can be debilitating at times. (Please, if you know very little of BPD DO NOT think of me as Susanna Kasen from Girl, Interrupted, that is singularly the worst portrayal of BPD I have ever seen).
Part of having BPD is an unstable sense of self, the diagnostic criteria is vague at times, but basically it manifests in me that I 'try on' identities of others, for a week, a day, in the hope of trying to find me, this has ramifications though as always. It's difficult to put into words, and to an outsider, it looks like I might just be being a dick. (Although, I'm sure there is an element of dickishness to it), it is never intentional.
I know I did Avoiding Atrophy's 10 thing I like about myself, but apparently that falls out of my brain. I don't know who I am and I don't know what I'm good at, not really. I have this intense and scary imagination, that has often been described as psychosis. The sad thing is, to an outsider, it's not seen. I shut down so often, which is completely different to any type of introversion which seems to be fashionable. I force myself to not respond to emotional stimulus, avoid people because even their presence is too much, it is too noisy.
I shut down so often with day-to-day life it becomes difficult to do anything. And trying on other personalities is tiring, so tiring (I remember once trying to be so much like this girl at uni, it left me distraught on so many occasions, I am me, and I hate me). In the end, the only person that this truly hurts in myself, financially and emotionally, (I can't believe how much clothing I have gone though, playing out every.style possible, it all got burned in the end), so now I stick to black, white and grey.
There's something so nice about black, white and grey, it's easy on my eyes, it rests me. As much as I like colour, I'm not playing that game because it sets off emotions and I can't/won't deal with those.
There is so much more to it though, a complex case of identity that my therapists and support workers probably dissect and analyse to their hearts content. Words are that, just words and it's so very complex. Truth be told it also has very little to do with anyone else but me, the crux of it is, I am insecure. I am not good enough in any aspect of my life. If I could wake up tomorrow a new person with a new life, without this angry i-hate-myself feeling, I would. And that is embarrassing too, I'm 25, I should be past all this soul-searching shit. This is the stuff for teenagers.
No matter what I say I'll never make you understand (or thats how it feels).
STEPPS is supposed to sort this all out, and hopefully it will, because this is draining, and I am tired.