‘Pharmaceutical Bestiary redux’

A theme for an exhibition in 2008 that took as a starting point my personal history dealing with my own mental health. Well, I recently discovered some packaging that was going to play a part in that exhibition but the work was never finished. So, I finished it, a dozen years on. Here it is…

And the drawings are followed by an excerpt of some words written back in the 90s… inspired by my regular visits to a local hospital. I’d made self-portraits on anti-depressant medication packaging since I was first diagnosed, perhaps 1991 or 92, out of boredom and frustration. They were pretty dark, so there was no audience for them pre-internet, and I lost them all in a studio fire fifteen years later.

the land of The waiting room
the waiting room
waiting empty
excepting the mathematically spaced chairs
Cold coloured plaster engages savage radiators
And the shopkeeper shrinks as the first cross her threshold
And I am the first
I am the first – always
Because my piece demands that single seat that sits at the feet of that thin black wall
That’s the seat that keeps their wall behind and our door well ahead
And I am the FIST
I am always the quiet fucking FIST
And the other heads know this when I look down their line
So we all stare as straightest be.
Just ahead
I am yet the first
And the other heads FIST
Since they’ve lost the ire and desire to even try
And instead black-eyed, emptily look ahead to
Contemplate that engaging minutiae
the one of gloss-coloured cold-covered plaster (at a breakneck sub-atomic level)
And the perpetual timedrying, airwarping, centralfuckingheating
And the ridiculous anger
the buried savagery of
their personal, perpetual angers
and on and on and on we fucking roll on
you could never say I have just rushed into this
still the still
and the absolute unabsolved
of it all

back to work chronology menu

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