Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Nervous Yellow

This morning I have submitted my digital image for the John Moores painting prize for 2014. Shown above acrylic on canvas 40 cm x 40 cm. Been trying to imagine ideas around mental health and that gesture that people make to indicate you are crazy where they spin their finger at their temple. Read somewhere that this comes from the idea that your head is full of birds fluttering around which is quite an interesting description of how you might feel if you are going a bit crazy.

So I've tried a typically Rainham way to illustrate this idea. In searching for the information about the gesture I came across a book called 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman which describes the descent into madness for woman at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Her mental health, described as nervousness, deteriorates when she is kept in an attic room of an old house that is wallpapered in a horrid, florid yellow paper. She begins to obsess about the pattern of the paper and thinks she sees a woman moving around behind it. The room is described as a nursery but shows signs of being somewhere where someone has been kept by force. there are iron rings in the wall, bars at the window and a big heavy bed screwed to the floor.  

The original colour of the background of the painting was my usual blue but I have changed it for this vivid yellow in response to the book.

Will know if the painting gets through to the second stage in February.