words & artwork Natalie Bellardino
Hidden Affliction illustrates the internal battle of inhibiting anxiety through gathered symbolism, contradiction and surrealist imagery. Although, this oil-on-canvas, hyper-realistic painting emotionally narrates an interpretation of my anxiety. The purpose, however, intends to form a conceptual story, allowing audiences (mainly sufferers of anxiety of various ages) to connect, interpret and visualise my tangled character uniquely. ???????
Uncovering double meanings as an extensive motif inside these applications heavily inspired the symbolism of every element shown within Hidden Affliction.
Background pigments symbolising gentleness, mystery and tranquillity within dreams excited the idea of proposing contradicting elements within my final. In revealing a confronting image, the recessed hues intent is to contradict their meaning of relaxation as they surround the discomforting aesthetic. Against this, the blushed skin reflects the rising warmth, while the contrasting blue symbolises the coldness felt during an attack.
The tightly wrapped bedsheet heavily contradicts its purpose of leisure and comfort to personify the strangling and suffocating emotions and the physical and mental immobilisation anxiety forces. The contrast of crisp shadowing and stark tints link my original inspiration “the shadow of the mind”, while exaggerating the choking of the sheet.
Becoming a veiled, internal battle, the restrictive, masked sheet embodies the shame, disgust and embarrassment while mysteriously and indirectly compelling the viewer to study the pivoted, pyramidal composed, nude model further. Interpreting my stripped vulnerability, the naked muse conceptualises myself.