Invisible Illness                                             2013-16

Living with an invisible illness is something that affects a huge number of people. It is a very isolating experience. Not only do the sufferers have to deal with the pain, loss and debilitating effects of their disease, they often have to deal with misunderstanding and prejudice from people around them. With this collection I tried to explore some of the emotions, isolation, loss of identity and other issues facing people living with an invisible illness.

Around half of all Australians have a chronic disease. Chronic illnesses tend to be long lasting with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Of all the chronic illnesses about 96% of them are invisible; these people appear to be healthy and symptomless. Some of the most common invisible illnesses are chronic pain disorders, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, mental illness, depression, cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions to name a few.

Living with a chronic illness is something that I have direct knowledge of and something that has informed my artwork during my time at university. I have been sick for my entire adult life. My illness is considered an invisible one, I look fine, I may even look healthy, but I am genuinely sick and suffering. I have dealt with the guilt of looking healthy, of not working. I have dealt with so called friends getting mad, telling me everyone gets tired and I should try exercising or this cure or that food. I have had to learn to be sick, to pace myself, to say no, to pre-empt when my body will give out, which does nothing good for the social life.

I hope people will connect with this work, or that it will at least spark some thought and understanding...

Into

2016

Acrylic

Canvas

91cm x 76 cm

 

Free Me From This...

2013

Acrylic

Canvas Board

35.5cm x 27.5cm

 

Weight of the World

2015

Oil

Canvas

45cm x 60cm

 

Alone

2015

Oil

MDF

45cm x 60cm

 

Crushed

2015

Oil

Canvas board

45.5cm x 61cm

 

Late Night Supper

2015

Oil

MDF

45cm x 60cm

Depending on people's experiences I have had many reactions and interpretations of this painting. From people joking about 'a good night' or 'fun times', to sorrow and understanding. 

This painting was done from a series of photographs I took of the prescription drugs, vitamins and minerals I was taking every day at the time. To me it represents just a small part of my everyday and my search for normality.

This was my entry in the 2015 Border Art Prize held at the Gold Coast Art Gallery. I was given the opportunity to speak at one of the Gallery's Up Late events along with nine other artists who had entries in the Prize. We were given five minutes to show five slides of our work and speak about our experiences, philosophies, art practice and work. It was a very entertaining and informative night. 

 

Functioning Human

2015

Oil

Canvas

61cm x 122cm

Feeling Every Fibre

2015

Oil

Canvas

61cm x 90cm

 

Marking Time

2016

Acrylic, medication packaging

MDF

60cm x 180cm

 

An Unlived Life

2016

Digital photographs

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Maudsland,

Northern Gold Coast, QLD

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