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Jemima Ridgway

My Fine Art practice focuses on visual narrative and my interest in Art Therapy. Through drawing, I communicate about my experiences of mental illness within the context of everyday life.

My final project consists of twelve illustrations that invite the viewer to follow a sequential, visual narrative. Drawing upon my own experiences of mental illness which have been amplified by the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, I researched comic art and experimented with drawing. My humanoid bear character subverts the teddy bear's traditional role as a provider of comfort and instead depicts an individual seeking comfort. Social isolation leads the humanoid teddy to find comfort in various ways, often self-destructive ones. This draws upon not only my lived experience of the lockdowns and restrictions but seeks to engage with the experiences shared by so many through social media.

Whilst most comic art contains a combination of written and visual language, my work relies solely on images. Through my own experiences of mental illness, I have found that the subjective experience of mental illness and trauma cannot always be truly expressed through words.

A career goal of mine is to become an Art Therapist as I want to use my own experiences and knowledge to help others living with mental illness and trauma find a voice through creativity. Art has given me a space to express myself during some really challenging times and I truly believe it can help others.

Final year project

I Can't Bear It