Populace is an extension of a separate installation project, Mind Maintenance (2019), re-imagined as an edition of screen-prints.
I spent the 2019 winter semester at UFV orchestrating an interactive experience in which the general student body was invited to participate. During this period, I created illustrations based off MRI scans of the human brain which highlighted sections of the brain that are most affected by anxiety and depression. I then took the abstract-like shapes created by outlining these sections, and invited UFV students to doodle in those shapes. By spending a moment of their time on a simple, creative, and stress-relieving activity, students transformed a representation of a negative space into a positive coping mechanism for stress. The word ‘doodling’ was used specifically to describe this exercise because the term usually refers to the simplest of tiny drawings. Anyone can doodle and feel the benefits. This simplistic form of creative expression often acts as an effective self-care method for those suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
While the extension of the original project still relates to the concept of doodling and repetitive simple shapes, its purpose is to illustrate the concept of an individual struggling among many. In each varied print, the varying, bright, multicoloured depictions of an MRI brain scan are filled with a repetitive, whimsical motif. This represents the expressive and creative nature of the human brain.
In a select few of the varied editions, the abstract shapes found in Mind Maintenance make an appearance. In these sporadic prints, the individual is depicted as facing depression. The solid silhouettes against the grain of the pattern demonstrate how such complex and dark emotions can interrupt creativity.
Given the project title, it is fitting that each print is presented in varying levels of completion. This is representative of character diversity, and the uniqueness of each individual’s state of mind and mental health journey. This series creates a bridge between themes of healing through creative expression, and the notion that every individual in our society has a battle to fight in relation to mental health