Self Portraits || Coping With Depression


Self Portraits

Coping With Depression

Recently,  I've been struggling with depression.  I'm trying to cope with my feelings by acknowledging their existence and by trying to turn them into something, anything other than a deep unrelenting sadness.  I've been thinking about how my depression looks and feels and have been trying to come up with creative compositions that embody what I feel internally in an external way.

Depression for me comes in cycles.  It starts out as fragments which agglomerate and rotate like the moon.  Depression also comes like a steady line that turns up and down and breaks off into fragments that I seemingly can't control.  Lastly depression comes in folds, bent and dark, full of gritty texture and opacity.  Using this analysis I began to create.

The framed triptych is printed on Arches paper, due to the size I mixed and painted the chemistry on in broad daylight.  I manipulated the shape and color using vinegar, circular templates, and foliage.   The three cradled wood panels are printed on Kozo paper, enhanced with a dilution of baking soda, and separately washed in a vinegar bath before their final rinse.  Each piece is an archival chemigram finished with encaustic.  

It's such an important exercise for me to take negative and destructive feelings and turn them into something beautiful.  The physical act of creating this artwork has helped me cope with the mental and emotional work I also need to do.

The pieces are available for sale HERE.

Ali Lanenga