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Artsmith Live - Derby, UK

Self Hating Female was an installation that came about through a number of avenues. The title itself and the travelling theme was prompted by my purchase of an old suitcase, which happened to bear the initials S.H.F. etched into the leather.

My journey through depression, therapy, self-discovery and recovery inspired various elements of the installation. Working with ink, masking tape and anger produced the large work showing a wounded, suppressed and disturbed face. It felt very spontaneous but significant to make this piece almost like I was trying to exorcise my inner bitch. Elements of this piece were then combined with elements of Beelzebub to represent seeing my own reflection in the windows of a tube train as I stood on a platform edge.

Another significant element was the hat filed with post-it notes. These notes were ones that I had taken into a therapy session and without speaking laid out on the table in front of the therapist in an attempt to convey the deepness of my self-loathing and hurt. I know that friends were shocked by these but they needed to be there, they were a significant part of this journey.

These feelings and this journey were difficult to put out there but if we are ever going to come to terms with talking about mental health as easily as physical health, I feel it’s important to be a part of bringing that to the fore in a way that works for me and hopefully speaks to others.

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