Our Mental Health Archive
Artist Corinne @corinnesdiary is a self-portrait artist based in Worcester and she has been in residency with Outside In and partner organisation The New Art Gallery Walsall (hyperlink). Corinne’s distinctively dark and evocative self-depictions intimately reflect her ongoing struggles with mental illness, in particular that of severe anxiety and depression. Her work, which is mainly photographic self-portraiture is all created within the same 2 by 1.5 metre space; her bed, the only place she feels safe enough to create. She is deeply afraid of leaving home and currently confined to bed every day. Her life and art have become inextricably entwined – she feels that to bury her struggles deep within would allow them to thrive, but through her use of art she is offered a sense of catharsis.
Corinne’s 6 week remote residency began with the creation of her first piece of filmed art, Dear Voices, a self-portrait video with an audio letter to her ‘voices’. She is currently experiencing auditory hallucinations, which confine her to bed every day. ‘Dear Voices’ depicts the process of painting the nature she longs to be within upon her body and bedsheets as to become part of nature, as her voices forbid her from leaving home.
Corinne then posed a series of weekly anonymous questions via Survey Monkey and Instagram relating to mental health and the pandemic, and incorporated extracts from these responses to create both an installation in her bedroom and a second short film. The installation and short film were unveiled at an online event on Zoom on Saturday 8th May with Regional Artist Development Coordinator José Forresta and The New Art Gallery Walsall. You can watch the film and a recording of the event here.
Corinne comments – “This work provides an intimate insight into the performative nature of my practise, which is rarely seen within my final photographic self-portraits. I strongly believe, as an artist who has suffered with mental illness since childhood, it is my responsibility to share my experiences and let my voice be heard, with the hope of raising awareness, inspiring others and to show anyone struggling they are not alone.”
Instagram @corinnesdiary https://instagram.com/corinnesdiary