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Sarah Hirst - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

Update on what I'm up to! / 14 March 2013

Been a while since I posted and just wanted to give a quick run-down of where I am with regards to my projects.  I was so caught up writing my thesis and getting that right that I decided to focus all my energy on that. Thus meaning my project was neglected (poor thing) but now thesis is no more I have energy and focus solely for that!

Since I started in September embarking on my final year I have had feelings of empowerment of my Mental condition. Im getting a bit annoying (to myself) as I dont want to have it labelled mental illness. I feel calling it 'illness' gives it a negative meaning and I want to feel I am different... not ill?

It's been a real cathartic process working from the mop to my current film piece and feel it has opened up my viewpoint not to feel ashamed for what and who I am. My condition is part of me and vice versa but it is not wrong to be this way.  

As previously mentioned in posts my friends and family are unaware of my diagnosis and this saddens me at times. It saddens me that more strangers know that I am borderline than the people who care about and for me. I'm just that 'quirky' friend/relative and the fact that I'm an artist explains it all!! 

I have started on a new project and looking at dreams and hallucinations. I suffer from hallucinations at night time and sometimes during the day (if I'm really struggling). The hallucinations take the form of black figures that stand or sit in my room and watch me.  

Fearing stigma and mockery I never told anyone and although I got very distressed by them I was worried they were a sign I needed hospitalisation. After a particuarly bad night I spoke to my CPN who reassured me that I wasn't getting madder and that it was just a way for my brain to process thought. It helped just to speak about them and consequently made me feel less anxious about my experiences. 

I started to wonder if other people might have this but, like me, be too afraid to speak out. This led me to think that I want to use film as a medium to take away the stigma of hallucinations and get it from behind closed doors.

I was worried how the idea may be received by my tutor but she has been really supportive and open to what I am trying to interpret. My dreams and hallucinations are a reflection of my subconcious and so my research has led me down the path of surrealism. I experimented with automatic drawing, which helped me as a device to stay in lectures (I have the fight or flight thing when I am in a classroom environment and sat down next to people). It sort of happened without me thinking about it.  

I had been doing free-drawing at home in the morning and then went to the lecture and started to panic so started to pack my bag to run and on the board a list of websites came up so I thought I would write them down and then swiftly fly!  I wrote them down in my notepad and turned to a fresh page for the new slide, anticipating more information. The lecturer then started talking about her practice and I just stared to draw on my pad, not looking, and found it to be a soothing outlet. Interesting result as I stayed for the whole lecture! (which is not usual)!

Anyway, so that is where I am at so far!  I have uploaded a gallery my dream watercolours which I am trying to manipulate in the Software program AfterEffects to include in my film.

thank you for reading x