I make art in order to make sense of my mind. My visual language consists of representative imagery, automatic mark-making and reactive drawing and painting. Personal experiences with moments of anxiety, periods of depression and a wide range of emotional responses to my daily life make up the DNA of my work. Past research into the neurological explanations for how the brain works informs my own self investigation and artistic process. I try to document my mental states as authentically as possible in order to produce evidence of my experiences. To record a moment of tension I let my hand grip the pencil as hard or as softly as needed and make marks that naturally come out. When I spend long durations in bed dealing with depression, I photograph my bedsheets and then commit them to paper using graphite pencils to record the lines and folds my body created. I consider these pieces as experiments in data collection and vary my approaches to suit the emotion I’m attempting to capture.
My work blends the planned, calculated careful drawings of a person in control of her own mental states, self-aware and articulate in self-expression with the spontaneous, emotional, raw markings of the subconscious. Time is the transformative element which allows for my different mental states to surface and is a difficult variable to understand. In an effort to grasp the passing of time, some of my work has taken the form of books or journals where I log my feelings over a week's time. I also make large, meticulously detailed drawings, the process of which is incredibly slow, sketching with pencil on top of rough, bumpy paper requiring a steady, focused hand. Although my experiences with anxiety and depression initially prompted this investigation, I ended up observing many more states of mind throughout, which eventually created the need for new types of self-discovery and expression. I will continue to translate my experiences by hand into line as this ongoing exploration into my mind reveals more truths about how my brain works.
All content © Michelle Drummy 2019 unless otherwise specified.