by Tara Jack
Borderline Monologues explores my personal mental health, my lived experiences and my internal conversations as a departure point.
Through the consciousness of emotions and introspection, diverse aspects of mental health have been investigated in a visual cathartic mode. The works have been approached in an automative manner whilst working intuitively and often impulsively, thereby enabling me to access the subconscious to inform the visual impetus. The resultant incorporation of text is harnessed to illustrate the ‘inner voice’ and the self-inhabited world that are inevitably central to mental-health sufferers. Shifts in mood, emotional phases and performed behaviour were engaged with through a focus on ‘conversational self-portraiture’- at times extending to other protagonists.
Monotype was often utilised as the medium of initial expression – layering, erasing, and consciously using mis-registration, while also working into pieces with the mediums of ink, water colour, acrylic, found materials and sown stitch work. Covid-19 resulted in being confined in Zimbabwe without access to printing presses, studio facilities and very limited art materials. While these challenges were undoubtedly restrictive and constrained certain work they also initiated new approaches, experiments and creative solutions.
The work generated is split into five series, each pertaining to a different aspect of mental illness. I place specific emphasis on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as it is a mental illness that is not commonly understood, and one that I live with. Its symptomatic behaviour includes: fear of abandonment (real or perceived), persistent feelings of emptiness, unstable anger, impulsive and self-destructive behaviour, self-hate, shifts in self-image, unstable relationships and emotional fluctuation.