Leaving art school

It has took me a very long time to even think about seriously making art since I have left art school. Though I had always hoped that I would have an amazing time at art school, I am now filled with regret when reflecting on the three years I spent studying Fine Art.

I have wondered if my experience would have been different if I’d chosen another art institute. However, looking back, I don’t think university was ever going to be the right option for me at the age of 19. University granted me the opportunity to leave the place I used to call Home – a chance for a fresh start, however, this choice has only lead to more destruction in my life and is now what I hold responsible for the sadness I feel today. I carried my experiences with me, and eventually these started to be explored within my art practice.

Investigating the lives of both my brother and mother challenged me more than I could have ever expected. My works made me question many things about my family, but more importantly about myself. Whilst my mother, brother and even my father have been revealed to be dealing with depression and low self-esteem through visual documentary, I had always been strong, independent, happy and confident. I was proud that I had managed to avoid an inevitably troubled life, like my family. However, in the past months since leaving art school, I have continually questioned whether I am any of the things listed above.

In my works, it is clear that my mother plays a monumental role in the structure of my family. She always will, but never in the way I want her to. This discovery has been the most difficult. Only few really see her true character. Most see a lovely, genuine mother figure. Is it ok to exploit my own family in order to create art work? (something I have asked myself many times) – yes, if that’s the way you see it. Creating artworks about my family have been therapy for me. Maybe if I didn’t go to art school, facing the reality of my upbringing would have come much later in life.

All the things I hate about myself/Things I get from my mother is the working title of a new portrait of work reflecting on my own mental health. It will be the first time I have picked up my camera since leaving art school.

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