Weekend Showcase: Mat JimDog (Artist)

17 May

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 artist/painter/poet/writer, letting their work speak for itself.

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Mat JimDog

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>>>>>The Complexity Of Self Loathing” 2013, Oils on canvas.

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This picture sums up my work. I have an attraction to complexity and chaos, yet a knowledge that it all has a structure and order. The intertwining, overlapping, tangled, twisting is something I see in biology and the natural world around me and so impose upon that inner world of thoughts. My thoughts are like this, many, complex and at times contradictory. In my pictures each individual thread represents a single thought.

Then there are the eyes, a very common theme in my work. All my life as long as I can remember there has been that other presence in my mind. It watches me and influences me and at the worst moments takes control. But then there is the real physical sense of eyes, that my eyesight in recent years has been in very serious danger through my appalling lack of self care. Diabetes over a long period of time attacks the body in different ways. One of my eyes is now very damaged and the other is under attack, so this too is represented in this picture.

In the end it is a statement about all the complex reasons I have to hate myself, the consequences of that self loathing, yet a colourful image that demonstrates how my creative actions hold that self loathing at bay. When you look at this image, remember that for me it holds every single thread of my hatred, it holds them securely and they cannot hurt me.

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A short(ish) Bio!

There are four key elements from my childhood that define my life and it’s course. A strange relationship with my parents that was, and is, never neglectful but not loving. We exist alongside each other almost like strangers with no emotional attachment. As a young boy starved of somebody telling me they loved me it left me vulnerable. The man who filled the void was in every sense the manipulative, secretive, grooming paedophile. From the age of eight till twelve he owned me, abused and left me utterly confused about sex, love and who I was. I read research recently that linked childhood diabetes with trauma so it seems unsurprising that aged eleven I was found to be a type 1 diabetic with absolutely no family history of this. When the abuse came to a sudden stop, as the family moved to a different part of the country, I was so bereft that I searched for more and picked up men in the local area until one day a violent sexual encounter and beating scared me so much at nearly fourteen I retreated inwards. I went to school and then avoided everything else.

The next ten years were a roller coaster ride of getting somewhere, then crashing out. I then found myself on a teaching course and discovered I was good at it. I met my wife, somebody who told me they loved me and actually meant it. I had a few good years but depression and diabetes are not a good mix and the consequences of poor self care began to cause me problems. The past was always too much of a burden and I was constantly questioning myself. I had a severe episode in 2003 that left me unable to carry on teaching but the warning signs were not really heeded by the medical professional in terms of diabetic care or mental health. By 2005 I was a real mess and attempted suicide, my diabetic care so bad that I was admitted to hospital in a coma with a blood sugar so high it was a record at their A&E to be so high and still living.

In hospital my wife brought me pencils and a pad. At that moment, having never drawn for myself or attempted any kind of art beyond school, I found a voice. A way to communicate to others. I found I can draw how I am feeling and communicate the problems in this way. More importantly I found I could make sense to myself the stuff in my head. Talking about it did nothing. But the act of committing to paper made make sense to me.

I still struggle daily with my mental health, I suffer very serious consequences from the thirty odd years of poor diabetic care. Now, however I can cope. I have this thing called being creative that lights my way and has given me hope. I have been lucky to survive, and it is through my painting and helping others who suffer through creative activity, that I prosper.

 

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If you want to find out more about Mat and his art you can do so here:

https://twitter.com/jimdogart

https://www.facebook.com/JimDogArt

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Space2CreateYou can find out more about Space2Create a group which Mat co-ordinates which offers creative sessions for the improvement of mood here:

https://twitter.com/S2Cspace2create

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Do get in touch via the Comment box or @ArtiPeep if you would like to be showcased. You’d be welcomed!

 

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