I am an artist, designer and photographer, with a background in dance and theatre.The work that I produce uses multi-media.
The element of play is extremely important to me as a way of learning and developing, therefore my process is very much about experimentation. I break down intricate and complex working methodologies to their simplest forms and explore how existing tools and materials can be used in different ways. I then begin to make connections, looking at how these components can be used together in numerous ways. Through this experimentation with different combinations, I gradually begin to rebuild processes until I find a way of working that satisfies me.
My inspiration comes from my own personal experience of mental illness. My practice explores how our minds are structured and my methodology itself is a direct reflection of the way in which I myself process and deal with information. I distort viewpoints by taking one thing, reimagining it, exploring all of the possibilities it holds and make something new with it. I use images from different contexts and repurpose them in the form of collage, add layers of my own work to existing material and create my own images using photography and printmaking, which I then proceed to take apart and reassemble. Breaking things down, looking at things from a different perspective and in a different context helps me find something new that I can relate to and begin to understand.
My work is about twisting concepts and challenging perceptions of how we view the world, it is about dealing with very difficult emotions and ugly topics by endeavouring to unveil or create something very beautiful in the hope that this might open up dialogue about current affairs and challenging subjects. Indeed, it is a questioning of what constitutes beauty and whether my process of distortion makes the subject matter more or less approachable, easy to digest and understand.
I struggle with words but feel lucky to be able to communicate through my artwork. I hope that others who have shared similar experiences with mental illness may take comfort in this kind of sharing. Despite this, I remind myself daily that I am not my eating disorder. I hope that the work may stand alone, reaching a wide audience and break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
For more work by Sarah Carpenter visit her website