Exploring women and mental health artworks
Yvette decided to take six days to decompress. And in those six days, she created a range of expressive abstract artworks. Following her solo at the AVA gallery, she found it difficult not to paint female figures. And it is in this time that she decided to explore women and mental health in a visual art form.
As Scott E. Williams, arts writer, mentions in his review of the solo, referring specifically to my use of water in my work:
Within her paintings we are also shown the recurrence of bodies of water whether they are a bathtub filled with water, a lake or the endless expanse of the ocean. In their impressionistic existences on Yvette’s canvases, we are moved to feel the hope of cleansing from the stigmas associated with mental illness – to be healed by the water’s recuperative powers. ..to ‘come up’ from the waters cleansed of the defining label of mental health sufferer….a cleansing of societal expectations of a “good” mother, “good” wife, “good” daughter who simultaneously has to contend with her condition.
Upon further research on the symbolism of water in art, I was enlightened by the following written by Mark Mitchell on his website:
The depiction of water in a painting or any other medium of art can alter how the painting is received by a viewer. Whether the artwork is abstract, painterly, or wholly representative, water is a universally recognised symbol meaning that anyone can view the artwork and take something from it; so long as the landscape continues to inspire artists – so will water.
In the painting above, I include water, but not as a body of water, but part of her body. The overwhelm is part of who she is. But if we consider the cleansing nature of water, that part of her, can then be seen as her saving grace perhaps too?