WHO I AM
I spent my childhood in rural Nova Scotia drawing the monsters and warriors I saw on TV and in games. I imagined the worlds in which they would meet and fight it out, all the while developing my illustration skills. By high school I started to take drawing more seriously and so moved on to more “serious” subject matter – mainly still lifes and the human figure, which I focused on through my studies at NSCAD University.
Here I was introduced to the power art has to communicate ideas and messages. I saw the social and political facets of visual art, as well as the raw and intimate connection it could have with people. I also began to develop the critical thinking skills that allow me to reflect and understand myself better; the trauma and abuse I endured, and how these have shaped my mental health.
Support networks of mentally ill artists had helped to validate my experiences during this time, and enabled me to connect with others who face similar challenges. But after only a few short years, graduation lead us to each go our own way.
After moving to Vancouver in 2013 I joined some online support groups to seek out this connection and validation again. We mostly communicate and support one another through written or spoken words, but I’ve found that images often can make a more immediate and sincere connection or statement. By 2016 my practice had taken on the aim of depicting the struggles and experiences we share.
This new direction began with human figures – serious subject matter for a serious subject. But I have since come full circle, back to the monsters I drew as a child. Only now they’re not being fought and vanquished by armored heroes, but rather are endured, and managed, with understanding and compassion.