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Sarah Hirst - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

Sarah blogs about being hidden / 7 November 2012

I am currently studying Fine Art and in the final year of my degree.  Art helps me survive and without art I would cease to be. It has been a saviour to me and brought my life out of a very bad place to juggling a degree and family and everything else life throws at me!

I am interested in how we keep our troubles locked away and how within society it is still a taboo to have mental health issues. I have always felt that I lead a ‘double life’ through hiding my emotions and feelings from everyone. Due to societies stigmas of mental illness I feel I ‘wear’ masks to hide my true feelings and persona. The role-playing that we take on when interacting with others, serves as a façade so no one in the outside world can see the reality of what lies beneath.

This subject has come to forefront of my mind because I am beginning to consider the prospects of my employment after my degree. Living with Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD is my secret, the one thing about myself that must be kept hidden. It just makes me think about how keeping my secret affects me, and how tiring it is. I am continually researching how BPD affects individuals and the range of emotions that sufferers display.  

So far with my work I have been painting my dreams, which I have found very cathartic and helping people ‘see’ into my world through my paintings. Inspired by Bobby Baker’s 'Diary Drawings'. I am also working on a film piece and trying to get people to share their troubles and worries with a mop! 

I will keep updating my blog with any progress made and hopefully it will be interesting….to somebody ☺

Keywords: mental health,visual arts