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Beth// This project is based on my experiences of living with chronic pain. I decided to take back the control that pain has on my life by using humour and bright colours to make light of my situation.
I’ve had chronic pain for three and a half years and I’ve tried various treatments and medications to try and help, without any success. I’ve previously tried to find solace in art that was based on chronic pain but found that art based on this subject was often dark and depressive. I decided that I wanted to create a narrative based on chronic pain that was different and didn’t strongly or obviously convey the themes of sadness or hopelessness.

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I have come to accept living with my own pain, possibly for the rest of my life, and decided that if I am living with it 24/7 then I am going to own it and make fun of it with humour.

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I’ve used absurdism and surrealism because I didn’t want the themes of the story to be clear to the viewer, as I wanted them to interpret what they believed it to be about. The narrative itself can be cut, edited and changed into different orders, allowing the story to be relatable to different scenarios and themes depending on the viewer and their interpretations.
The full narrative has been made into an a5 printed zine, and I have also produced a limited edition risograph zine of a shortened version of the story.

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I pushed myself to create the narrative entirely digitally and out of shapes to give it a rounded, cartoonist style which helps support the humorous themes. The characters I created for the project resemble humans without them being too realistic, and I used bright and bold colours to give it a sense of fun to contrast with the dark undertones of the project.
I never intended for the project to be solely and clearly about chronic pain as I find it difficult to discuss or explain it to others. Creating art that touches upon my experiences has been almost therapeutic for me, and I’m only now realising that its okay to talk about and own as it’s a part of me.
If others can view my work and find connections to their own lives then that is a bonus, as up until creating this project, I hadn’t found any art that related to my experiences.

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My chronic pain has been a long journey and I know that it is still an ongoing issue for myself and many others living with it, so I intend to continue exploring and shedding light on these themes throughout my work.

Website / social media:
https://www.instagram.com/bethgrewillustration/

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Post Author: Gabriela Cohen

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