My piece shows that hearing voices can impact you and your body in different ways, and also the impact it can have on you with others. It shows the overwhelming feelings that the voices have and the power it feels they have over you/your body. I thought about my body and how the voices make it feel. I wake up with a ticking time bomb in my mind just waiting for the voices to explode on me; the ladder represents how they take over my life; the knife represents the suicidal thoughts that come with the voices; the pills in the stomach is the medication that you get dosed up on and the gun represents the things that you can say to others when you are in a bad place because of the voices or the things you are scared to say.
I wanted to express how it feels to hear voices internally and socially and the impact it has on my personality, mood and mind. There is a lot of stigma, stereotypes and narrowed views surrounding mental health and hearing voices. A lot of people do not really understand how it feels for an individual to have mental health problems. My mental health problem is “hearing voices” and that affects my daily life.
Creating this piece has given me the opportunity to express what hearing voices is like. It made me feel good because there are a lot of people out there who will not understand. I have a mixed bag of feelings about having this artwork on public display... excitement, nerves and a lot of questions flying around in my head. Overall, I am looking forward to seeing the public’s reaction. There will be mixed opinions and views on it but that can go for any art piece. It is different and is just honest. However I hope it enables people to understand what hearing voices can be like and the impact it can have on your life.
I could write a whole book on the messages and ideas I would like to communicate to the public. But to put it simply, people who hear voices are not “crazy” or “mad” and do not need to be locked up in mental institutions all their lives. We are not weird or different, in fact most people I know have no idea I hear voices. We just need good people around us.
Each individual voice hearer is different and has walked a different path; their voices will be different to mine. But I think a lot of voice hearers will be able to relate to the feelings I have expressed through the objects/symbols I have used in my piece. They can interpret it different ways, but I hope it can help them to realise that they are not alone and their feelings are understandable.
I am currently doing an A-level in Art and spend a lot of my free time doing Art. I use it to manage my voices and for me, it is the best therapy. I have already done a lot of pieces based around mental health and I will definitely carry on. It is a way of expressing yourself, your feelings without having to use words. My mind is a wonderland with ideas and I can’t wait to get them down on paper.