Inspired by Basquiat

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After visiting the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London, I started to notice that my doodles became heavily inspired by Basquiat. From visiting the exhibition, I felt connected to his message and the emotions evoked through seeing his work in person. I could feel the anger in his strokes and related to his use of symbols and culture references.

I have started to try and map the pain I experience on a daily basis through symbols, as it’s a language that may be more accessible, even if the symbols are determined by myself. I’m finding that this method has aided me in visualising the disconnection I feel between myself and my identity, as well as the physical and emotional symptoms that come with this.

I’m finding that this really works for me, but visually is quite different from the cartoon like creatures I have been creating to visually represent my fibromyalgia. I am continuing to explore this and see where the two styles can mesh.

I have more reading to do on the consequences chronic illness has on identity, but feel like this is something that isn’t being addressed enough and something I had no warning about when I was diagnosed. There is also so much scope for visual work that could be created in the concepts of identity and chronic illness.


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