Why I create art about mental illness and abuse

I hate Mothers Day. It’s based on this flowery mirage of perfection that doesn’t exist. Even if it did a mother who does everything for her children rather than teaching them to do it for themselves creates unhealthy adults.

2005 was the year my world went mad. I started dating my now partner in January, had a fall and glandular fever (mono) from March, started dating my ex-gf in May, moved out of home in June and finally got proper treatment for the fall in November. Also in March my parents locked me in the house because mum didn’t want me leaving the house with my now partner (an older man, shock, horror) when we had had a fight beforehand.  I only wanted to get away from the fight. In the end she let me ring him provided I didn’t ask to leave. He heard my tone of voice and offered to pick me up instead. I kept fighting with mum through the glandular fever until I moved out.

I have conceptualised this as the confrontation between Alice and the Queen of hearts in my sketchbook. Mum has her own mental illnesses but hasn’t had treatment for a long time which makes her the Queen of Hearts. Dad’s likes to express his love by following her lead so mum is very much in charge. That makes him the King of Hearts. My now partner is the white rabbit because the white rabbit is a psycho-pomp character and he helped me understand there were ways to live beyond the narrow confines of mum’s arbitrary rules. I’m Alice because we all like to think we’re the protagonist in our own story and because mum tried to keep me child like.

Trapped (c) Anita Morris 2013 $300

Trapped (c) Anita Morris 2013 $300

Trapped is about how mum’s controlling behaviour and abuse made me feel particularly after March 2005. Although I was 12 when I first realised there was something wrong with the family.

I was 15 when I started suffering depression. At least that’s when I’m first sure of it because that was when I started feeling suicidal. I didn’t get help until I was 19 and the confrontation with mum happened. I didn’t even think to ask for help between 15 – 19.  I’ve probably had anxiety my whole life.

There are some with mental illness who know it and refuse to get help. There also abused spouses who refuse to leave. Abused children will generally leave home eventually. I hope my artwork touches those may not have realised something was wrong but when they do they want to get help or get out.


All content © Copyright 2016 by Anita Morris.
Subscribe to RSS Feed – Posts or just Comments

Workaholic WordPress Theme by Graph Paper Press

%d bloggers like this: