Name of Artist: Isis Graywood
Title of Piece: My Flesh, My Enemy
About the Piece: Weak, poisonous, dangerous. I fear my flesh – my most dangerous enemy.
Mostly pain has taught me that I’d like to live my life without pain. Yet it is inescapable, so I try to find ways to further solidify my sense of self, so that no amount of pain, physical or emotional can break me. Pain has strengthened me in some areas, and weakened me in others. – Isis
About the Artist: I began painting 4 years ago, after being inspired by Ryan Shaw’s talent, fellow collaborator on this piece. I exhibited for the first time recently in Philadelphia, at the Black Vulture Gallery, alongside 60 well known and respected international artists. I have group exhibitions coming up in Pennsylvania and later on New York. I recently finished 4 years of art school, and left with honours. I am currently studying SFX Makeup/Sculpting/Production Design for film and T.V, and am going for excellence.
Painting for me is challenging emotionally and mentally… Art exorcises my demons. I relish the challenge of attempting to encapsulate a hugely confronting concept in one simple yet well articulated image. If others find my work emotes to something within them, and they then go on to analyse and question themselves as to why, then I have killed two birds with one stone. More often than not, I paint the concepts, emotions and perceptions in myself and others that pain me. My art is my tool. My tool to express, process, and eventually shed emotional pain and mental distress, frustration at the injustice and greed inherent within humanity and its sects and subcultures. I strive to visually assault, and confront those that are in need of such. I want viewers to stare deep into the eyes of their own personal demons.
I suffer cluster headaches, and have done since I was 5 years old. I have PCOS, and Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction, so am no stranger to pain. Ryan Shaw, a muse of mine, who collaborated with me on this piece (predominantly the central area, and edgework is his) is no stranger to pain also, being born with debilitating spinal problems, he has had a lot of time to pour unadulterated creative energy into art, and music.
Name of Artist: Travis King
Title of Piece: Hooked on the Pain of Love
About the Piece: This piece comes from the very beginning of my relationship with Hannah she took the photo while i was the installation/subject, this is the day we came together learning from this experience of pushing through and moving past what i what i thought was my limit, at the time I didn’t know it but it was setting me up to be able to deal with living with Hannah and her condition. Love knows no boundaries
Pulling is a form of flesh hook play where the participant(s) use their own strength and weight to put pressure on the Flesh Hook(s), offering a very different feeling to suspension since the participant has much more control over what is happening (this is both good and bad, depending on what the goal is).
This is the basis of the piece i had two 6 gauge (5mm) hooks
Through the skin in my back, hooked to a line to lift weight from the floor via a point in the ceiling ie. Pulling, with each increase in weight the more the pain becomes the harder you have to work to push your through it to move forward.
This to me is like watching Hannah struggle through the pain
Having done this it helps me understand and gives me an appreciation of what people with Fibro go through in their day to day lives.
About the Artist: I choose to put myself in the way of pain to overcome and push my boundaries via a few different means, Like living with my partner who has fibro everyday is a challenge, living with her has taught me how to grow as a person. Hence my metamorphosis form boy to man.
September 30, 2011 in Submission 2011
Name of Artist: Ella Kane (Age 14)
Title of Piece: Empty Heart of Pain
About the Piece: I drew this to express the pain I am in everyday that I can only describe as hell. There all many different aspects to this drawing. It shows the pain I am in mentally and physically. The vines with thorns for example represent my physical pain. The uneven zig zag line at the bottom that turns into a straight line represents my heart beat. The heart on the flat line shows my emotional pain of feeling dead and drained of happiness. The gate is the gate to or from hell, what ever way you see it really. There is a lot more going on in this picture but as with many of my drawings I feel to have it relate to other people you need to find your own meaning in it.
Please vote for me.
About the Artist: Here’s a little bit about what I am struggling with. I am very ill with two severe conditions called Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This means that everywhere in my body (apart from sometimes my hands and feet) is in severe pain literally 24/7. I hardly sleep due to the pain because it is so bad that it stops me from falling asleep. From my eyebrows right round my head and right down to my feet is in unbelievable amounts of pain constantly and I can’t do anything about it. I just have to sit there and deal with it. I don’t know how to let out how I feel, no one understands and I don’t quite understand how I can do it. But I still sit there and I fake a smile and pretend with all my remaining strength to hold it together until when night comes I let a few of those painful tears fall from my eyes as I try to fall asleep but that in itself is like a bad dream! The pain is stopping me from falling asleep so I lye there holding it in and stay strong as always until I finally pass out from the pain for about half hour then the cycle starts again. I’ve had this for about three years now. I’m in a wheelchair because it’s too painful to walk. Every movement hurts. I put on a straight face when I can so that I’m not always screaming but it’s very hard. I never give up though and I help others as much as possible still. I refuse to give up.
My other work is up at www.loveandlight.co.nz
Name of Artist: Stellar Kristel
Title of Piece: Reflection
About the Piece: ‘As the ink is etched upon my flesh like the blueprints to my life story, it now becomes an artistic mortal expression of my Immortal journey.’
The essential meaning behind my light and my dark wings (still very much unfinished) and the fact that my wings stem from an inverted pentagram(and one day when connected) also from an inverted cross….signifies the dark and murky depths of life that my soul chose to experience before I incarnated into my current life. Only by choosing to first experience this darkness(signified by the satanic artwork) could I know what really was the light(signified by the wings). Although I still have a lighter wing and a darker wing as I appreciate the balance that the dark and light both give me.
I appreciate the pain and suffering even though I once hated it for it has helped me become who I am today and it continues to help me become who I am tomorrow.
The satanic artwork signifies the demons I have fought and I have won. And as I win each battle so more ink tells the story.
Of course my back piece can never really be finished until my life is finished so I am happy to submit this as the story so far….
About the Artist: Trained baby body piercer, have worked alongside a number of epic tattoo artists and have around 35 or so tattoo hours
Suffered numerous different chronic pains and discomforts mostly over the last 8 years. Still have no diagnosis or explanations for my pains and injuries, possibly heading towards a fibromyalgia diagnosis if all else fails.
Name of Artist: Leesha Ragdoll
Title of Piece: – Black clouds and silver linings
About the Piece: This doll was to represent the prison many people are in cased in , whether by pain of the mind or pain of the body. It is to bring focus to the silver lining in any and all situations. This is proved in this competition alone by seeing the amazing strength that these hardships have created. kia kaha
About the Artist: Art in general is a huge passion for me and I have been sewing custom made dolls for 3 years now as my biggest venting method and huge help for happiness, I have battled with depression my entire life and this got worse after getting the double attack of postnatal following the birth of my two children, The ragdolls then started making their appearance and have brought joy ever since.
Name of Artist: Alexis Ware
Title of Piece: Mystery
About the Piece: I took a photo of my xrays when they were up in the window and reassembled them to make a collage of all the useless scans that have come up with nothing
About the Artist: I love messing with photoshop. Have had a chronically sore back for almost ten years.. but I ‘look healthy’ can bend and stuff so they say there is nothing wrong. All the scans came back with nothing. I am a dancer and it is my passion and now I don’t do it because of the pain. It’s a mystery injury that has never been diagnosed which bothers me and makes it hard to treat.
Name of Artist: Daniel Dillen
Title of Piece: Breaking the Stone Cold Silence
About the Piece: It began with a single face. Almost featureless, sunken eyes and mouth open as if silently screaming out. From there more faces were made and embedded within a solid block, as if they were slowly making their way out.
One interpretation is to view the solid block as the silence that surrounds us all when faced with something we know little about or choose not to speak of in public. A lack of awareness. The emerging faces, silently screaming out break that silences. Not with sound, but by their implied action. There doesn’t need to be a silence surrounding any affliction. Be heard and consciously become aware.
About the Artist: I am a product designer by training. An artist by experimentation. The experience I have in sculpture is minimal. Most of the work done is with metal, occasionally finding a way to work in other materials.
My experience with chronic pain is through the friends I have that suffer from it. I may suffer from many other things, none are chronic or disabilitating.
September 20, 2011 in Submission 2011
The Hollow – Lauren Manson
The echo I embrace with open arms
A breathless room of mirrored views.
I sit and stare and not a thought is whispered.
Movement would be too much a chore
So I sit and listen to the echo of nothing.
Nothing could be something through a different view,
My view reflects and is stagnant, in the shimmer of darkness.
My head and heart inflict pain
As icy tears I bare freeze on my cold surface of skin.
This pain is the past and I know it will last
Until the echo of nothing, the empty, is filling.
When it overflows, my scars will show and happy days will be a gift.
No one will ever know this echo
Unless they have truly felt with their whole heart.
Alas my heart is not whole
It is one which my hands hold together
With pieces falling through the gaps.
My emotional strength is my net and the salvaged pieces endure.
Name of Artist: Lauren Manson
Title of Piece: The Hollow
About the Piece: My own personal struggle with pain,emotional and physical.
Feeling mentally and physically drained and alone.
Diagnosed with Endometriosis in April 2011 and have been suffering years beforehand.
Intended to bring hope that there are plenty of women out there feeling the same way.
About the Author: Poem written about emotional and physical pain. Confusion and frustration not knowing why and feeling alone. Casual writer.
Name of Artist: Rachel Dawson
Title of Piece: Can’t break the chains, but the chains won’t break me (2)
About the Piece: In my picture my legs are chained together, because for me, this is how my condition makes my legs feel a lot of the time, like they are locked together, the chains symbolise my restricted movement, not so much for my hips now, but more for my knees and ankles.
Although on first look, the picture looks bleak, I do want to say that I am not defeated by what is happening to me, the chains will always be there I know, and even if the condition takes my knees and ankles too, it doesn’t matter, I will keep looking forward, no matter how difficult it becomes, how frustrated I get or how upset I may look, I will keep looking forward, I will not focus on the chains, they do not run my life. This is how I know that I am strong.
About the Artist: I had my partner shoot my piece for me and at this stage I am an amateur photographer.
My chronic pain comes from a condition that I’ve lived with for twenty years, I am twenty six now and when I was six I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which has affected every joint in my body. Due to the aggressive nature of my condition, over the years I have dealt with chronic pain, very limited joint movement, over all body stiffness and deformity in several joints. My condition has caused me the most pain in my hips, knees and ankles, as a result of this I was in a wheelchair on and off for most of my childhood and at age fourteen I had both of my hip joints replaced.