I have just returned from a mental health hospital (that sounds worse than it actually is). Haha! I'm not crazy! He protests.
I have been drawing some of the patients (those that would sit still at least!) The images are of terrible quality due to the fact that I did not have access to the required equipment... but you get the idea. The original drawings were given to the sitters and seemed, if only temporarily, lift peoples spirits a little. I believe I sorted a good few folks Christmas gifts!
This is the first time I have been exposed to a broad spectrum of mental illnesses at once. Whilst the human mind is capable of the most incredible things it is also capable of terribly cruel and self destructive things. I found myself increasingly more grateful for my own relatively sane existence and slightly scared by the potential fragility of my own mind.
I think more work needs to be done... People need to talk more and understand more.
No names are given here. Quotations have been redacted and likenesses may be coincidental.
X had presented at A and E asking for a body scan due to thinking
there was a bug inside him that whispers things to him. X felt he was being
recorded in his bedroom, the voices are people x knows whispering, telling him
that people are watching. X had been looking for recording equipment in the
house, taking out light fittings. X absconded from the ward the following day,
feeling he would be safer at home. X was supported on leave by the crisis team
in an attempt to facilitate remaining at home. X has become increasingly
paranoid that family are going to harm him resulting in him not sleeping and
not wanting to take his olanzapine in case it meant he fell asleep. X asked to
be returned to the ward for security and treatment. He continues to report
paranoid feelings but states that the voices he hears are more “whisperings”
but still finds it difficult to challenge them.
I spent today giving a talk and chatting to the inmates of Wolds Prison in Yorkshire. I was invited to the prison art department to give a talk about my work and give insight into being a working artist... and to answer any questions the inmates had. They had questions... many questions.
I will admit that I was initially very apprehensive about visiting the prison and interacting with the men there. This soon subsided as I was greeted with a thoroughly modern and humane facility bearing none of the hallmarks of the desolate and foreboding Victorian institutions of times gone by. Not exactly homey but certainly well equipped to ensure that a prisoner's stay would not be an ordeal of Dickensian proportions.
After a prolonged battle with the computer and fancy projector screen, I talked the prisoners through a selection of my past work and answered many questions. Art is clearly important to many of the people detained here and serves as a valuable therapeutic tool. One prisoner expressed strong sentiments that he would be very upset if this resource were to be taken away (or something to that effect). I was genuinely impressed with the groups enthusiasm, passion and knowledge of the subject and also thankful to have been received so warmly. I really enjoyed my time speaking to these guys and finding out more about the role of Art in a prison. I would not hesitate to visit again.
Here's the latest finished charcoal on paper ready for framer and then Edinburgh Art Fair in November.
Here I am at Doncaster Tattoo Jam with the super talented Sneaky Mitch Allenden of Dock St Tattoo in Leeds LINK I absolutely love this chap's work. Mitch is on Instagram HERE and you should go and marvel at his genius.
A while ago I went The Ink For Heroes Tattoo Convention in York with Kelvin Slack of Prophecy Tattoo/Black Heart Tattoo. Kelvin was kind enough to have me at his booth where I added the finishing touches to the portrait I had been working on of him. As usual kelvin was gathering a crowd with his amazing technical ability. I was jammy enough to be in the right place at the right time and subsequently ended up with a mention in top Tattoo magazine Skin Deep. CHEERS KELV! Check his stuff here. LINK
Here's what Kelvin was working on.
and here's me. That's not Kelvin in the background by the way!
It's not much but it made me smile. Thanks again Kelv.
I am back from Warsaw and back to reality... and work. Warsaw was great, the weather was great and the company was excellent. It was a much needed break and I successfully managed to do very little which is actually difficult for me at times.
Here's a photo of the talented painter John Smyth and I at Burn Selector Festival in Warsaw.
And here's an example of his painty painty goodness.
I am finding it slow going at the moment. This is always the case when I take a step back for a couple of weeks. I have been working on this 40cm painting to ease back into it. I have to get cracking as I need to get 5 pieces done for the Edinburgh Art Fair in November. LINK There seems to always be a deadline in my life.
Still quite a bit to do... will post more tomorrow.
Here's what is going out into the world today... and a few other bits and bobs. Look out for upcoming Exhibitions at UnionGallery Edinburgh, Fotheringham Gallery Stirlingshire and White Rabbit Edinburgh.
Right! I'm off to Warsaw for a week. Anyone in Warsaw should get themselves to this this weekend! BURN SELECTOR FESTIVAL
"Dylan Lisle’s work maintains a contemporary dynamism through his old masterly representations of the female form. Knots and swathes of vibrant, passionate fabric envelope his sensuous figures, or otherwise are the subject of larger studies, which draw upon chiaroscuro, reminiscent of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens. His work is instantly approachable, engagingly serene and romantically charged; traits that have not gone unnoticed in the art world he inhabits.
Fresh from his first London solo exhibition, Dylan Lisle spearheads a modern movement of artists, whose desire it is to capture light in all its glorious subtleties, texture in its infinite tactile qualities and the female form in its evasive beauty." Hope Robertson, 2007