Siris Hill

Siris Hill is a self-taught artist whose creative practice is centred around Renaissance and Baroque inspired figurative painting. His work explores the effects of mental illness and other psychological conditions of the mind on an individual. Focusing on the struggle of perception, he depicts the beauty of individuality, but the strongest message is the struggle of trying to live. ​Siris is a digital fine artist, replicating the textures and movement of oil and acrylic paint.

“I’m Siris Hill. I’m 27. I have suffered from anxiety and depression since my late teens, and, have become somewhat agoraphobic due to the anxiety, which makes it difficult to network with other people. I sometimes find it difficult to share my work. This is caused by past rejection, anxiety about approaching people, and not feeling good enough.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at birth. I practically lived in hospitals until the age of fifteen when I decided I was sick of them mistreating me. I stopped taking my medication, and have been physically healthy ever since, although I began getting anxiety attacks due to the trauma of my childhood.

I started painting 4 years ago, as a way to relax. Since then it has become a form of meditation for me. I am self-taught and my work portrays the raw feelings and emotions felt living with mental illnesses. It might be difficult for a person living without a mental illness to understand what it’s like for me – I often feel frustrated and isolated.

I love oil painting, but I’m unable to use it due to the fumes and certain materials triggering my anxiety. I taught myself to replicate techniques of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt. Due to the advancements in technology I’m able to replicate traditional painting almost exactly, the only difference is drying times between layers.

I use a graphics tablet which tracks the movement of a pen that I hold to paint so my hand movements are then replicated on the screen.  Other than that my process is almost exactly like Rembrandt’s, from what I’ve gathered through research at least. I build up a rough sketch to find a composition, fill in light and shadows, work in black and white to realise my forms and then glaze colours on top (although sometimes I work with colour straight away).

Painting is my way of expressing what I can’t talk about. My art may seem dark, but, I feel it reflects the reality other people like me live with day to day.”

To see more of Siris Hill’s work, please visit his website, www.sirishill.co.uk/, Instragram, and Facebook profiles. Siris recently exhibited with ten other artists living with mental ill health. Their self-curated show, Absence, can be viewed online, here.

 

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Exhibition: Cross-Pollination at Dragon Café

What: Exhibition of visual art from service users and providers
When: May 2-30, Mondays only
Where: Dragon Café, Southwark, London

ARTISTS: PERRY BARCLAY-GODARD – TERENCE WILDE – MARIE-LOUISE PLUM – MIKEY GEORGESON – JAN ARDEN – LAURA GREENWAY – SUSAN MARY GRATWICK – JASMINE SURREAL – TIM BRADFORD – RICHARD CORRIGALL – MEGAN WHINTON – AMIA TOWN – ALICE TURNER – EMMA DUGGAN – HAYLEY HARE

Our next exhibition represents the meeting of minds often described as firmly being ‘in two camps’. From May 2nd until 30th, we will be showing visual art from mental health service users and providers at the Dragon Café in Southwark. We are exploring the dovetailing of mental health service users and providers, and the overlap of being in services and providing a service, with the aim of blurring the lines of ‘Us vs Them’.

There will be a talk from artists Richard Corrigall (SLAM) and Megan Whinton on Monday May 23rd at 5pm.

Artist: Tim Bradford

  
‘The Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park’, and, ‘Better Red Than Dead’

“For starters, I’m going to try not to talk about myself in the third person. There’s no way Tim Bradford is going down that route.

The work on my website is divided into seven categories, each containing a small series of paintings representing a particular layer of my obsessions. These are Museum of Reconstituted Charity Shop Art, Irrational Portrait Gallery, Once Upon A Time In The West (Of Ireland), The Patchwork Landscape, Finsbury Park Institute of Football Art, Useful Gods and Botanic Transcendental Paintings.


View more from ‘Botanic Transcendental Painting’, above, here.

It’s also in some ways a celebration of my parallel universe art career as a member of the ‘Bearded Rural Artists Who Prefer Living In Cities’ group. And in this scenario I went to art college instead of studying English at university – making a living as a football arm tattoo artist and getting dumped several times by Tracey Emin.

I am now what is generally known as a new wave wang-eyed pop folk artist. 

Although I’m now considerably older than John Lennon was when he died, and Dino Zoff when he collected a World Cup winner’s medal, I like to think of myself as an emerging artist. I’m just emerging in slow motion.


View more from ‘Irrational Portrait Gallery’, above, here.

For twenty years or so after leaving school I painted semi-regularly, as a kind of grounding mechanism, then stashed the resulting pictures in attics or cupboards and it wasn’t until 2005 that I started to become reasonably prolific.

The year after that we lived in the west of Ireland for a year and a half and I fell in with the notorious Ennistymon artists set, a collection of ferociously intelligent and talented dazzling women painters and intense bearded film maker blokes.


View more from ‘The Patchwork Landscape’, above, here.

In this hotbed of hair and ideas I gained the confidence to put on my own exhibition. In Bachelors Walk I developed some of the themes that had obsessed me for years – fast disappearing landscapes, ravaged old blokes tortured by loneliness or frustration, lovely dreamlike women who know a lot about ‘stuff’.

The vivid, mostly primary, colours are intended to have a life-affirming effect on the viewer, perhaps with the sense of having a revelatory vision, a mild migraine or recovering from a hangover.

When I’m not painting, over-cooking pasta for the kids or wandering aimlessly around the local streets, I do illustrations for the football magazine When Saturday Comes and write non-fiction books.”

Visit Tim Bradford’s website, here.


View more from ‘The Finsbury Park Institute of Football Art’, above, here.

Artist: Jasmine Surreal


Doris Day and Doris Night ©Jasmine Surreal

Also exhibiting at the excellent Bobby Baker/Bethlem/Outside In combo light-box show in Stratford, ‘Letting in the Light’, is Jasmine Surreal.

Jasmine describes herself as a “surrealist symbolic artist with a lot of humour”, and to this statement, we concur.

Her works are illustrative in style, and extremely playful, picking up where Edward Lear’s nonsense worlds and Simon Drew’s clever dovetailing of objects and subjects left off.

With titles such as ‘Doris Day and Doris Night’ (the work currently on display in Stratford), ‘Kraftwerk do ‘Kraft’work’, ‘Lord Biro’, and ‘Paintbrush Painting With An Artist’, we think you’ll understand why.

“I’m inspired by my own imagination, just me really, although there are artists I like. Bosch, Magritte, Dorothea Tanning. I tend to draw the image on canvas with a pencil, mainly from my own head, unless I’m drawing someone like Steve Allen (a 1950s comedian and polyglot), when I used a photograph of him. I’m very meticulous, because the images I realise are meticulous. There’s a lot of detail there, hidden objects and faces, reversals of reality.”

Jasmine is keen to share that she has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and is currently having treatment with a hypnotherapist. She experienced childhood abuse and is currently experiencing domestic abuse, which, in her own words, is “compounding what I am experiencing – it’s important for me to be open about my experience, as it also puts context into my work, especially that humour can come from difficult experiences.”

You can see more of Jasmine’s work here, and please do visit the show in Stratford, on until March 23 – Letting in the Light. You can also buy Jasmine’s work through her online shop, here.

The Mind Machine

Our first exhibition of the year, at the Menier Gallery, London, has swiftly come, and all too swiftly gone.

The Mind Machine was a week-long exhibition featuring eight of the ten artists we are working closely with – Yvonne Mabs Francis, John Moore, Jan Arden, Marie-Louise Plum, Mikey Georgeson, Terence Wilde and Vincent Black.

By all accounts the show was a success, drawing flatteringly positive comments – “the most original exhibition I have been to in years” and “the art is raw, and speaks to me” – and a heady, well attended private view that has resulted in interviews, reviews and new opportunity for our artists, as well as a few sales.

So here we are, saying a massive ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to, well, ourselves, and the artists, and to share a few images from the exhibition, courtesy of Jan Arden, Marie-Louise Plum and Yvonne Mabs Francis.


 

Spirit Parlour at Free Space Gallery

What: Exhibition and workshops
Where: Free Space Gallery, Kentish Town, London
When:Opening Night: Wednesday 11th November, show runs 2-27/11/15

Artist in residence Philly Hunt showcases her work in progress, ‘Spirit Parlour’, on the theme of ‘safe spaces’, identity, memory and talismans.

The show and workshops are an extension of Philly’s personal experiences. Philly says “I have suffered with chronic anxiety for 7 years, and severe depression at times. Last summer I began a course of hypnotherapy, having tried CBT to no avail. Everything has changed completely for me, and I am overcoming my anxiety and depression very well. Previously, I never dreamed of being able to take on a residency like this, to do a show, and run workshops.”

We’ll be dropping in to see Philly this week, and speak to her about how hypnotherapy has helped to change her life and overcome her problems with anxiety and depression, as well as taking part in her workshop at Free Space Gallery this Friday. For more information about the Talisman workshops, please click this link, and scroll down to Friday 13th November. Philly is running a series of three workshops, starting this Friday.

Free Space Gallery are asking for everyone reading to please “join us for the open evening for a chance to meet the artist Wednesday 11th November 6.30 – 9pm .

We hope to see you there!

Exhibition: Exploring the unconscious, Freud Museum

What: Art exhibition,’someunconsciousthings’
When: Ends 4th October, 2015
Where: The Freud Museum, London

Running until 4 October 2015, the exhibition someunconsciousthings is a collection of art works and writing on what Goldsmiths’ experienced art therapists understand the unconscious to be, both individually and as a group.

Explore the unconscious at the Freud Museum, 8 September

Four years of research and creation by Goldsmiths, University of London art psychotherapists comes together at a special evening event at the Freud Museum on Tuesday 8 September.

All are welcome at the museum from 6-8pm on the 8th, to hear speakers from our Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies discuss their project, just email susan.williams@gold.ac.uk to reserve your place.

Tutors on our MA Art Psychotherapy programme have used aspects of art therapy practice to explore their individual and collective understanding of the unconscious. While Freud’s essays were in part written as a response to scepticism of the concept; Goldsmiths researchers explore its contested relevance to contemporary art therapy practice.

Art practice in art therapy is given shape by its simultaneous involvement of artist, viewer and curator and its boundaries of time, space and materials. The drama takes place within contexts such as hospitals, schools, prisons and hospices; the players are positioned in relationships of power and unconscious and conscious processes can be explored.

“The project interacts with student learning in that we model a way of using art and writing to explore themes related to our therapeutic work,” Dr Sally Skaife, Senior Lecturer in Art Psychotherapy, explains.

“The collaborative nature of the project is important too; we make art and write separately, and then come together to explore our similarities and differences as we develop the social implications embedded in Freud’s understanding of the unconscious.”

The collective has exhibited twice previously, at the 15th European Symposium in Group Analysis at Goldsmiths in 2011, and the International Art Therapy Conference at Goldsmiths in 2013.

‘someunconsciousthings’ at the Freud Museum runs until 4 October 2015 featuring work by Christopher Brown, Kristen Catchpole, Annamaria Cavaliero, Diana Kagiafa, Jon Martyn, Lesley Morris, Lisa Rimmer, Susan Rudnik, Sally Skaife, Robin Tipple, Diana Velada, Jill Westwood.

Visit:
The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX
Wednesday – Sunday 12.00 – 17.00
Mondays until 24 August
Exhibitions are free with admission.
http://www.freud.org.uk

Find out more about Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths.