Author Archives: larainbriggs

About larainbriggs

I'm an artist and have been since I can remember. Being an artist is one thing that has remained constant. At 10 I received my first oil painting set and by the age of 14 I had my first piece of work in a local gallery window. I am not an artist by choice, art chose me but I am extremely happy that it did. It is my path and vocation and the right thing to do for me. As long as I am doing that then I am doing the right thing, there is no question about that for me. It's a spiritual experience that is difficult to explain but I am sure other artists will understand exactly what I am saying. Here is my artist's statement to explain what my art is about:- I am currently a practicing artist living in Dovercourt. I previously taught in London and was a self-employed supply teacher where I live now. I studied Fine Art at Camberwell, and at Goldsmiths in London for a Post Graduate certificate in education. I also studied for a BSc in Computer Aided Visualisation at the Anglia Polytechnic University and Art Therapy at the Institute for Art in Therapy and Education. Unable to work outside of the home due to disability both mental and physical, I now focus on my multi-disciplinary art practice full time. My work has been inspired by Carl Jung for a long time and exploring my unconscious for even longer. I work through painting, assemblage and installation, employing various strategies to access animus, the shadow, and my soul. Through creative expression, I attempt to externalise the inner reality of my psyche. My work acts as a mirror where I try to see my soul - the inner workings of my mind. It transcends persona and barriers to connect with my true self where I hope to reconcile internal conflicts and heal myself. It would be impossible to communicate these aspects of my psyche verbally. The work is full of symbolism and archetypes which I believe are viewed in turn by the viewer in an unconscious manner. I hope that this will also be as therapeutic for the audience as it is for myself. My work is healing, especially to those who have mental health issues. I invite others to have a glimpse of a mind that is often troubled, anxious and depressed and to find empathy and understanding for people who are suffering from mental illness. I hope to touch the soul of anyone viewing my work. Currently, my work is mostly abstract in style but just as I can see archetypal images and symbols within the abstracts that reflect my own soul I hope that the abstract will act as a mirror to the viewer where they will see relevant images that relate to their own psyche. I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder and BPD(Borderline personality disorder) sometimes known as emotional intensity disorder. I believe this latter diagnosis has developed through a number of traumas occurring through my life. I wish to raise awareness of mental illness through my work and hope to one day be able to show to many more people where I will have a forum to discuss the difficulties that these problems bring.

#Suicide #Survival

‘The most articulate writer I have ever come across regarding emotion particularly depression. This might be helpful if you suffer from depression or if you know someone who does it will help you understand.’ This is what I wrote on FB.

I so appreciate your posts especially when feeling so isolated and desperate. You put into words exactly how I feel and I thank you for it. What you are doing is so very important and potentially life saving, you should feel very proud of what you accomplish and your amazing writing skills.

The Bipolar Bum

didntwanttodieorlive

It is the nature of the beast that when we become truly overwhelmed by depression, we begin to look for ways of stopping the pain.  We become prepared to take decisive, extreme action.

The best way to think of depression is as though it is sentient, and actively trying to subvert your thought patterns to destroy you.  Most things that feel counter-intuitive whilst depressed are usually better courses of action than the one’s that your depression will offer you.  It does not want you to behave in a way that will destroy it.

At first, the idea of self-destruction presents itself as one solution among many.  The thought for me is almost casual and I used to just ignore it.  I now take it for the warning shot that it is.  If you’re having suicidal thoughts, take that as your early-warning-system sounding an alarm.  In the grip of depression all…

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I have no idea what I’m going to write today!

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This piece is called Childhood Traumas.  I’m feeling very depressed and so I wanted some work that I had created that would evince those strange feelings of disassociation and depersonalisation.  My mind is going in circles.  One minute feeling angry with others and the next angry with myself and not understanding at all why or what is happening inside my mind.  Here I sit, looking perfectly normal but certainly not feeling it.  If I wasn’t so tired I would paint my feelings in colour.  Perhaps I will create an abstract tomorrow.  At least it will be something to motivate me.  I don’t like to create dark work though, I have too much of it.  I feel very isolated.  Perhaps extreme emotions can be channelled and be taken advantage of.  It’s something that I can focus on at least.  I will post the piece I produce perhaps, but don’t expect it to be pretty!

 


I Can’t Keep Up!

At this moment, I’m feeling overwhelmed by just about everything.  There’s always so many things to do.  I can’t keep up with all the posts I want to read on here and it’s even harder to find time to write a post.  I thought at first that my main interest would naturally be art but I’m finding myself more drawn to people I relate to.  Those who find themselves in a similar situation to myself.  Mostly to do with my physical and mental health.   I did have email notices at first from everyone I followed.  Ahhhh! My inbox was incredibly full.  If I’d spent the whole day reading posts I would still have not been able to read them all, let alone write one.  I’m so tired as well.  I have a vitamin deficiency.  I shall find out more about this on Thursday, I think it’s vitamin D.  I have a sudden run of exhibition work, one I need to take down on Thursday, one to deliver to on Tuesday, one I submitted to today, another coming up in June.  I’m so pleased I didn’t accept the one in Chelsea that invited me, although I really hope that next year I will be able to take up more of these type of offers.  As it is I can’t keep up with the local ones, especially as I’ve been unwell.  That is nothing unusual though.  I just hate that my health prevents me from reaching my potential.  That each day I’m too tired to carry out all of the tasks I want to do.  It’s so frustrating.  At last I have the opportunities but cannot accept.  I constantly live in hope that I will improve but when I’m depressed, it somehow seems more realistic to come to terms with the fact that this is permanent.  I believe in my work and at last have some direction but I just don’t think I can do much with it.  I am thinking of ways to overcome this and hopefully will but at the moment it all seems so distant and unachievable.  I am so tired right now and need to go to bed.  I have so many things I want to do! Arrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggg!


Morphine Withdrawal, The Clash and Hospital Stay etc

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It seems I’m waiting for events at the moment. The court date when my ex is taking me to court to try to change the order for him to pay my mortgage! Nightmare! I did take all the debts, it’s not a one way thing. He is being unfair to be polite. If I wasn’t being polite, I would swear quite profusely! The birth of my first grandchild on the 1st October! Absolute joy but a little anxious too 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to write about my hospital experience from last August. Various things have made me think about it. I was doing so well before my operation. I had organised a large exhibition for the Essex County Council as part of the ‘Essex Summer of Art’, ‘A Cinematic Celebration’. I had day surgery booked and an exhibition planned for after the gall bladder removal. ‘Nothing to worry about’ I’d been told, ‘In and out on the same day’ OMG! I had to stay in after and then told I needed another operation. I was in agony and on a constant morphine drip with a button that I was pressing more than I should. After that I had to have drains for 2 weeks and could hardly move from the bed. Those 2 weeks do not seem so bad in comparison to what was to come. I came home and had a zimmer frame to get around! (I’m not that old!) The next day I had a couple of nurses come to help me get dressed etc. They told me I needed to see a doctor. I looked pregnant. I was thinking to myself ‘My gosh I put on weight in hospital, how did that happen?’ The doctor said I needed to go straight back to hospital, which I did and straight back into the operating theatre. This time I was in another ward, the last time I had been in a room of my own with en suite. At first things didn’t seem so bad but I had drains in again, my tummy looks like dot to dot, all the holes where they put them in and pulled them out. I began to get paranoid, totally drugged up on morphine, codeine and diazepam amongst other things. Then I decided I want no more drugs and I’m not having anyone poking around trying to get a cannula into a vein. So I stopped the morphine! Bad move, serious withdrawal. I was so sick. I won’t go into gory details but there are many. All I kept thinking about was the Clash song ‘Bank Robber’. I don’t know all the lyrics so just a repetition of, ‘My daddy was a bank robber, he never hurt nobody, he just loved to live that way, he loved to steal your money.’ To this day I’m sure that must have had some meaning. At the time it was just driving me insane (although I still love the music). That and the smell of the blanket that I couldn’t get out of my nostrils. The spider hallucinations weren’t bothering me. The fact that I couldn’t keep my legs still made it a hell of a night 😦

I didn’t realise until later that I could have died from the complications. Now, these days I really don’t like hospitals. I still have stomach pains but for the time being I have to tolerate them. I do have pethedine to manage the pain. If you have read my other posts you will know this caused quite a problem with my heart rate just the other day. I will do without that now. In fact I’ve also removed my morphine patch. Paranoia back again and pain. Life eh?

At least I have that off my chest. Therapeutic for me if not interesting for anybody else. The painting here was just another piece of therapy for me, I’d never think about selling it.  It demonstrates quite a bit of what I have written here.


The Universal / The Particular (Or: The Secret Recipe For Great Art)

The Universal / The Particular (Or: The Secret Recipe For Great Art).


Hemmingway App and Artist’s Statement

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I’ve just discovered a new website ‘Hemmingway app’.  Basically you can write or edit in there and it will guide you on the readability of your blog.  So I tried my artist’s statement and managed to get an 8 and ‘Good’.  Hoping to improve.  Anyway, here is my artist’s statement.  As always you can find more at www.larainbriggs.com.   The new painting you can win next month is pictured here, just sign up to the newsletter.

Artist Statement

Diversity in style and experimentation in media are essential to my creativity.

Despite describing myself as a painter, I work in mixed media to portray various styles and genres. I studied at Camberwell Art College Goldsmiths College, University of London and various other colleges. I have studied art therapy, psychology, fine art and computer aided visualisation. I enjoy the challenge posed by stretching my multi-disciplinary skills. I am inspired by my own psyche and investigating the unconscious through my art. I would also like to investigate consciousness and metaphysics. I have an interest in quantum mechanics and its relationship to this. I am particularly interested in psychologist Carl Jung, his writings, thoughts and philosophies. There is never enough time to study all the subjects I wish and create as well but it keeps me energised trying, and I’m never short of ideas.

Often, archetypal images have appeared in m​y work and fantasy is a style I enjoy. My work intends to tap into the psyche and resonate with the unconscious mind of the viewer. My interests change often. I remain consistent in my belief that the unconscious resonating with that of the viewer is universal. My aim is to express my emotions and to try and share my psyche with others. Recently I have been enjoying abstract art and mixed media. Previous to that I was studying colour theory. I study often and try to apply what I have learnt to new work, when appropriate. I would say I am an intuitive painter and prefer to discover my work rather than plan it. I trust in synchronicity and make the most of serendipity. I enjoy conceptual art but find it challenging. I have no rules or set routine for my work. I change it as often as possible and challenge myself. Having said that, at present I am painting a portrait in an impressionist style. I like to make sure that my drawing and technical abilities are well practiced. My aim is to create work that I feel somehow depicts the spiritual world in a visual way. My way of trying to achieve this is by approaching art from every direction that I can. It’s fulfilling and most of the time great fun, even when it’s a bit of a struggle. My art expresses all that I cannot express in any other way. If I achieved my aim then I believe it would be enlightening and uplifting for myself and others.


Some of my work and daily misfortune.

Some of my work and daily misfortune..