Left Behind is the most personal drawing I've done to date. It's a picture of myself as a child feeling lost and heart broken after the loss of my mother.
I have only been able to grieve for my mother recently, as it was never safe enough for me to do so up until now. It has been extremely painful and there have been moments where I also felt the physical pain, it really felt as if my heart was going to break.
There are many children who are left behind, neglected and/or abandoned, and the repercussions of this often stays with them well into their adulthood. It can have a profound impact on their lives, affecting their confidence and self worth, as well developing behaviours and thoughts which could be harmful to them.
I am finding these issues can be overcome with the help of therapy, as well as the love and support of loved ones. It's never too late to change and to free ourselves from the pains of our childhood.
The photograph that inspired me to do Left Behind was Mysterious and Luminous by Shoji Ueda.
I instantly resonated with the girl in the photograph and felt her sadness and loneliness. It is such a gorgeous photograph. I love its surreal and dreamy quality, which I feel helps to accentuate the girl's sombre feelings further. It's like she's frozen in that state.
I used this photograph of myself for Left Behind. Whenever I looked at it, I saw myself holding a heart broken in two. I felt it captured my feelings of loss and sadness perfectly.
This is my second version of this drawing. Admittedly it is much better than my first attempt, but I still couldn’t get the hands right. I had a lot of difficulty. This is an area which I definitely need to work and practice on.
It is the very first time where I can see past the imperfections in my work and see the piece for what it is. This gave me the courage to submit Left Behind to the Herbert Gallery and Museum Open Exhibition, in Coventry. I handed it in along with Turmoil yesterday. I will know by the end of next week if either of them have been accepted. I'm keeping everything crossed!
Here is how Left Behind looks framed. Andy really has made my picture complete with this striking frame. It's as if they were meant to be together.