“Over the last ten years I have written and performed at length about social issues such as bullying, oppression and suicide. I’ve toured internationally which has brought me into contact with countless people, support groups and organizations. Ever the writer, my notebooks are bursting with quotes and observations gleaned from all sides of the spectrum.
PTSD Portraits is an ongoing project based on those quotes. These are all real people dealing with real things. It was hugely reassuring for me to finally find out other people had similar experiences, yet it was also upsetting to realize so many people struggled in silence. There’s a lot of us out there hiding it very well.
When I started painting the portraits, I hung them up around my house and they brought me comfort, a reminder I wasn’t alone. I entered the first portrait (that Ginger guy above) into the National Open Art Competition where he was shortlisted and sold. I was over the moon about this until I realized he wasn’t coming home. I missed him. A lot. So I started painting more and more to fill the gap.
These portraits have reassured me and hopefully they might connect with a few other people too. If you are struggling at the moment I send you strength and solidarity. You are not on your own.”