Death of Control
Centuries of artwork present epilepsy through the observer’s perspective. Medieval depictions show “fits” befalling the afflicted with grotesque and contorted faces. Religious paintings illustrate bodies possessed by spirits godly and demonic. Medical staff staged photographs in psychiatric wards and colonies that housed the feared and experimented-upon “feeble minded epileptics.”
Death of Control visualizes the patient’s perspective. My paintings draw from historical records, patient testimonials, and my experience living with an unpredictable illness. In this series I explore how religion and ancient medicine have sought to govern the body and mind and juxtapose these practices with the feeling of lost control described by epileptics. With oils on canvas, I recreate the overwhelming experience of losing consciousness and ownership of the body; a feeling impossible to describe with words alone.