Self-expression painting series
Below are the current projects Sarah has been doing in her spare time, exploring ideas around 'self', her intentions and journey of living with authenticity. Seeking to find acceptance of all parts of 'self' the light and the dark, her inner intentions around her goal of becoming an art therapist and how to continue her journey towards her authentic self. Through her journey of counselling, where the concepts stemmed from, Sarah transfers her growth into her art work as a form of self-care and therapy.
This triptych series titled ‘self’ is a response by the artist from the work she has been doing in counselling, exploring the concept of ‘self’ in relation to the artist's journey through sobriety. Each piece explores the artist’s relationship with her basic self, rational/emotive self and higher self, by using colours that for the artist represent each aspect/level of ‘self’.
Throughout the series of ‘self’ the artist explores her relationship with the basic self and her relationship with alcohol abuse, using black as the centre to represent the concept of the basic self, the part of the self that wants what it wants when it wants it, the part of the self that seemed most prominent to the artist. As the series developed the artist’s journey grew and the concept of the basic self was shifted to symbolize a more pure perspective, therefore the artist uses white acrylic as the center symbolizing the basic self in a more raw positive light. Finally the artist represents herself and her relationship to all aspects of self, the light and the dark in the middle piece, accepting that all parts of ‘self’ make the whole self, and this has been portrayed by combining both the black and the white as the basic self into one piece.
The artist uses mixed media on canvas, from acrylic to oil paints, using a variation of colours to symbolize how the artist views each level of ‘self’. The rational self has been represented by cool, calming blues and greens, whilst the emotive self has been explored with warmer colours of reds and pinks, the final level of ‘self’ symbolizes the higher self as the artist surrounds the levels of self with a glowing yellow and white, really highlighting the artists struggle with reaching the higher self on her journey.
Each piece has unreadable words that the artist has expressed her inner voice, using marker pens in a variation of colours and sizes, these words represent her struggles with sobriety in relation to finding ways in which she can listen to her higher self and continue on her journey of sobriety.
'Self' series 1
'Self' series 2
'Self' Series 3
“Art has always been a way in which I have coped so to speak, coped with life, and coped with my own mental health struggles and with my own personal belief of the power of art and recovery and in therapy, my dream is to support others on their journey of self and mental health wellness by adding Art as a method in their self-care toolbox. I hope to inspire change around the stigma attached to mental health, and create a safe space for people to come and create whilst feeling supported and empowered to make their own decisions in life, promoting hope in recovery by sharing my own story and my own passion for self-expression art.”- Sarah Kingwell
In this two piece series, the artist has used layers of acrylic paint to explore her emotional response to past, present and future ideas of self- using abstract landscapes to portray her journey. In each series the artist explores her past, at the base of canvas, the black blue colours symbolize her past darkness and feelings of regret and shame. Then the mountains represent the challenges the artist is currently experiencing in her journey of living in the present moment, with her struggles of sobriety. The magenta colour in the mountains is a symbol of loving and accepting the journey, and living in the moment with passion and love to self. The sunrise colours in the sky, reveal the concept of seeking for a future self and opening up to the endless possibilities that the future has to offer, and orange being a colour of healing past trauma, the artist portrays her current state as accepting the reality of the challenges that come with sobriety with the knowledge of the near future as an opportunity to heal past trauma. The sunrise reminds us that everyday is a new day, and a new opportunity to live life, although the future is unknown the sun is new each day.
Each painting has developed a different approach from the artist as series one is more abstract, each area blends into one another, and series two is in a clearer style. This comes from the artist's acceptance of all parts of ‘self’, past, present and future possibilities whilst in recovery. This journey symbolises the artists journey to living authentically, displaying the art works together series one is displayed upside down and underneath series two, aiming for the viewer to see almost a reflection of one another. This reflection is intended to demonstrate acceptance of what is under the surface and on the surface of the artist's journey, some days are blurred and dark whereas others are light and full of hope.
The artist uses acrylic paint and water on canvas, alongside marker pens to recite the current acceptance of the change in weather just as there is a change in emotional wellbeing when living with bipolar and on her journey of sobriety.
It's time for the storm to pass, and to feel the fresh air on my skin, I know the storm may arrive again, just as the weather changes; but that too shall pass and my own internal sunshine will shine through the clouds once more.