I work predominantly as a graphic designer and digital photographer, therefore I wanted to share how a return to materials and hand craft can be used as a way to unwind and disconnect from our otherwise predominantly digital life. There is something very comforting about a return to traditional and simple roots. Using textile and fabric is a very satisfying practice for me as it adds another layer in the form of a multi-sensory and tactile experience.
The mark making itself is a process that creates rhythm and movement, which is a comfort to me as my background is in dance. This repetition can also lead me into a more mindful state.
I recognise sanctuary and asylum as states of mind, emotions and feelings, as opposed to a physical place. It is an attitude and it is a lifestyle. We can find it within ourselves, but only if given the space, time and tools to do so.
There is a lot of focus on the type of spaces that should be provided in order for people to find sanctuary and asylum, but I feel that the most important facilitation starts with society’s attitude towards the ideas of “asylum” and “sanctuary”. These words have negative connotations and, as a society, we actually seem to frown upon the notion of asylum. People who seek help and support are seen as weak; not resilient or strong.
Some of the strongest people that I have met have been the ones who fight internal battles, become in touch with their own emotions and try to become better people by reconnecting and challenging their own thoughts; the people who seek sanctuary.
Allowing yourself the time and space, finding sanctuary and changing your thoughts and behaviours is not easy. As a society, we need to facilitate this, rethink the lifestyles that we have created where we ignore our own needs, show no self-compassion, do not give importance to taking time for ourselves and finding sanctuary and where actively seeking asylum is so very difficult to do.
Sarah is an artist, photographer and designer with a strong interest in combining traditional craft with digital practices. Follow Sarah on Twitter and Instagram.
‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond‘ is on until 15 January 2017.