Painted images for Charity Brief (work-in-progress)Posted: December 2, 2013
Some images i’ve painted as part of a poster advertisements. I’m creating the posters in the hope that they can be used to advertise The phone lines of the Bristol Samaritans. The Samaritans describe themselves as a sympathetic ear for anyone going through any kind of crisis. They provide a situation where “callers talk openly about their worries and concerns without fear of being judged”. It’s a charity that is available for use by anyone.
Initially I was going to create images which symbolised the charity’s uses. I had in mind emphasising the ear of the Samaritans, with something optimistic going on, perhaps symbolised by a butterfly or something small but nice. Then, to get away from the fluffiness of that, i thought of the anger that someone who feels they’ve not got an ear to hear their problems. A megaphone directed at a brick wall or a post perhaps, though that was a bit gimmicky
After creating and playing with some rough ideas, i thought that these kinds of illustrations that i was thinking up wouldn’t be appealing to someone possibly undergoing depression or anxiety; the kind of people that might call the Bristol Samaritans. So I thought about the mundane side to everyday life, the kind of things that your focus shifts to when you’re not enjoying existence. Indoors, secluded, banal items like letters addressed to ‘the home-owner’, washing up., the bathroom mirror.
This was all partly helped by my trolling through my memory for artistic inspiration to find the most depressing songs i could think of, and the most depressing paintings I could think of. Soon popping into my mind was Morrissey’s Life is a pigsty; by far the most depressing combination of music and lyrics I could think of. The vocalist stretches the vowels and ‘S’ sounds on the opening words ‘It’s the same old S.O.S’ scathingly describing the dull repetition felt in the meaningless life which a depression-sufferer sometimes feel they live. It reminds me of the scene from the Hugh Grant film, About a Boy, when the mother who has recently survived a suicide attempt is making her small son a bowl of cereal, but when she accidentally pours milk on the counter, collapses in tears in front of her child (i scrunch my face up, repulsed even thinking about it). For inspiration by painting for depression, van gough instantly comes to mind with his sickly coloured depictions of household items, at the centre-focus of his vision.
To hammer the point in, I’m planning on adding some comic book style ‘sound’ text. this will illustrate the dripping of the taps and the ticking of the watch. playing with the finished presentation is also something i’m think about. When showing Amanda, an illustration lecturer the prints of the work so far, she accidentally presumed that the poloroid-like shape of the white border of my A4 print offs were on purpose. I found hilarious, the idea that someone would take Polaroid photos of the most depressing views in their secluded life, perhaps to show their family at christmas.