AM I HOME?
My mind is supposed to be my home but recently, it has not felt that way.
‘Am I home?’ is how I’ve decided to document the ways in which this alienation manifests.
It is a collection of 12 paintings which revolve around the same bored, exhausted, cynical straight-faced girl that gets to sit in my head and make comments while I experience all the things—good and bad—outside my head.
In the moments when I’ve shut people out while trying to preserve my sanity,
Or when I’ve over-internalised the opinions of others,
Or when I’ve gotten too attached to my decisions,
Or when I’ve felt so optimistic then began to doubt my good fortune,
Or when I’ve simply tried to rest and recharge...
...she’s there, watching, waiting and asking when I’ll come back home.
Enough about me. Are YOU home?
(Scroll down for a little look Behind The Scenes)
... to yourself, before it's too late.
"I've been negotiating with my demons. There’s still some good in me” Painted on Procreate
“I promise I (want to) care. I just keep zoning out. I didn’t mean to shut you out.” For the times when you're trapped in your own thoughts but you try to pull yourself out so that you can be there for the people you love. Painted on Procreate
"Mum said "stranger, danger." Well, I'm the stranger. So, what now?" For the periods that you don't feel quite like yourself. You become passively involved in all activities, life goes through you; you don't go through life. Your colours, the qualities that make you YOU, aren't gone but they're not quite like they used to be. Painted on Procreate
"Which version of yourself will you listen to?" THEY ARE SO LOUD. THEY CLOUD MY JUDGEMENT. Painted on Procreate
"I know I don’t belong here. Do you?" Painted on Procreate
“Failing to trust and enjoy my moments of good fortune. When will I believe that I really deserve good things?” Painted on Procreate
“I've counted my mistakes so much that they have begun to define me” Painted on Procreate
“They say you can’t heal in the same place you’ve been hurt” Painted on Procreate
“Trying to break cycles, trying to be better than the ones before me.” Painted on Procreate
"Pink for girls." Branded 'pink' even before I was born. A simple colour; a marketing strategy, turned into the cloud that is now a gendered existence. A cloud you placed over my head. A cloud that has followed me thus far. "Think" (but not too much because nature already has a course for you) "Stay silent, don't talk back" (but look pretty while you're at it, please) I blame “pink.” Painted on Procreate
“...well, is it?” Painted on Procreate
Here is a mind map of how the pieces developed and how they relate to one another.
The paintings at the corners represent the moments when I feel furthest from myself, the paintings at the middle left signify moments of extreme self-criticism, while those at the middle right show my willingness, amongst other aspects of growth, to break the cycle of a singular narrative being passed down from generation to generation and attempting to put/keep me in places where I feel I do not belong.
And finally, the painting at the centre, Remember to Return, serves as a stark but necessary reminder to come back to myself. It is brown, reminiscent of the earth. It is not as vibrant as the other paintings because when I return home - to myself - I will no longer hide my uncomfortable and dark thoughts behind overly vibrant colours.
I decided to create this mind map retrospectively as a personal exercise which allowed me to see how my thoughts came together without being restricted by a rigid plan.