Drawing from Depression

This collection of artwork was completed in 2016, during a period of recovery from Postnatal Depression.  Art became a tool to explore the feelings and emotions of early parenthood. In the works below you'll see insights from psychology and mental health translated into visual forms. 


Integration

Pen & ink on paper

This piece was inspired by my learnings of the brain. We all have two sides to our brain - the right, which is creative and emotional, and the left side which is logical and analytical. 

When we allow ourselves to be driven by only one of these sides, life can appear very chaotic or extremely rigid, which can narrow our vision of the world around us.  

I have learnt that, to be mentally healthy, we need to integrate the two sides of our brain to achieve union, balance and wisdom. 

This concept is reflected in my work in the 3 mandalas, which I have drawn with fine ink pens. I have constructed the left mandala with straight lines and hatching. While in the right mandala I have used curved lines and stippling. In the central mandala I have combined line and curve to achieve an image of harmony. 


Born

Pen & ink on paper

This artwork was created to express the emotions that I felt after the birth of my son. It is an honest representation of the feelings that came over me during the transition to parenthood. If you'd like to read more about this, please read my post for Perinatal Depression Awareness Week - blog post here. 


Growth

Pen & ink on paper

You are born with love in your heart and soul. As you grow, experiences shape you. You move through life learning along the way and this builds onto your foundation of love.

However, sometimes we encounter bad experiences and these can alter your perception of yourself and shape you in unpleasant ways. They can penetrate into your previous learnings and take control of your being.

Despite that, they can never take away your foundation of love, what you are born with and carry always. You can use this as strength to build from your experiences and become the person you are truly meant to be.

You cannot take away the bad experiences but you can do your best to make the most of the present by remembering that you were born with love, which you carry forever. 


Authenticity

Pen & ink on paper

This artwork represents our journey through life. As we follow our path we will see others around us, they may appear to have a better or more "successful" life. However, I believe we can only truely be happy and find peace when we follow our own unique path, which will lead us to our own authentic destination. 


Moments

Pen & ink on paper

This piece is a reflection on the mind and how we process this world. All thoughts are moments in time and these moments pass, nothing is certain and things change on a constant basis.

We can choose which thoughts we accept and which we challenge and this can affect the way we perceive each moment.

This is the power and beauty of the mind. 


 
 

Acceptance

Pen & ink on paper

This piece represents the self and all of the emotions, thoughts and anxieties. The emotions are in the form of the mandala and will always be there, to observe them, let them be and Accept them is to have self-compassion, which is symbolised by the self embracing the self.

Overall it symbolises that you are human and in this universe you will have thoughts and emotions as part of your being but to let them be as they pass is to have self-compassion. 

Let the mind do its work while holding yourself with compassion.


Shattered

Pen & ink on paper

Some days can feel as though everything is falling apart. I created this piece as a reminder that although at times things can feel shattered, the ground work is always still there. We sometimes need to look a little deeper to see the beauty that remains. 


Balance

Pen & ink on paper

Balance is such an important aspect of all parts of life. This artwork was created to represent the idea that sometimes it can take lots of little good things to balance out one bad experience. Eventually we will find balance and things will become clearer. 


Waves

Pen & ink on paper

It's the ride of life, there's always going to be ups & downs. We often look for external reasons for our pain but sometimes it's just the flow of life. We can be more at peace if we learn to ride out the bad times, in the knowledge that nothing is forever.


Connected

Pen & ink on paper

This piece was developed while I processed and accepted the thought that - we're all connected and it's ok to be influenced by others

All humans come from the same place, we are rooted in the same origin. The creation of humans is constantly growing and evolving, as you can see from the central shapes moving outwards. From this central point we are all connected. The 8 smaller mandalas symbolise different individuals, which are connected to both the origin and therefore each other.

We are all made from the same substance (in the form of lines/shapes/circles), yet each of us are uniquely assembled. The aim of the piece is to embrace our connections and accept we will be influenced by others, because we cannot deny that we are all linked at our soul.


Synchronicity

Pen & ink on paper

Synchronicity is those meaningful coincidences, which I find happen more often when you're following your heart - maybe it's a sign that you're moving in the right direction.

It's the feeling of everything falling into place without any plan. For example, you can't stop thinking of an old friend and then bump into them randomly on the street or your car breaks down so you take the train and sit next to the person you end up falling in love with. It's those moments that feel as though all the forces are aligned. It's the beauty of life and I find that the more open you are to seeing these opportunities - the more happy and successful you'll be.