We have launched a new website and are reviewing this page. Find out more

Celebrating the Absurd and Irrational

Celebrating the Absurd and Irrational

 The brief for this project was about perception: “We sometimes look, but do not see… an exercise in looking and perceiving”.The brief asked us to explore the idea through a choice of different routes; I chose to research “celebrating the absurd and irrational”.The project had to be realised in any media as a “series of 9 images, to be presented as a 3x3 grid. The dimensions for each individual image are 20 x 26cm”. Mine became a mixed media piece, using both acrylic paint and lino printing. My response to “celebrating the absurd and irrational” led me to the issue of dementia, and how your reaction to it is so deeply connected to your point of view – and indeed the way you look at my final piece. One person’s absurd could be entirely rational to another.So my image depicts the story of a woman I know of whose Alzheimer’s led her to believe she was pregnant and in labour – so much so she made her husband drive her to the hospital. He had become so desperate that in the end a part of him believed her.My illustration explores the relationship between the woman and her husband’s reality, and that of the rest of the world. Seen as a whole it is cut through with a sense of her pain. What was the truth to her might be absurd and irrational to others – and, needless to say, deeply upsetting for all concerned.Pushing the “perception” idea a stage further, my final image brings together 9 separate images that, viewed individually, make total sense as sections of the (pregnant) human body. Each image is perfectly rational on its own. But put together they show a very pregnant old woman and her husband. And the confusion and suffering they both must be enduring.