Art imitating mind

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live.
— Charles Bukowski via David Shillinglaw
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Let's mediate on that for a minute...and then think about David Shillinglaw's work...! 

Firstly, I'm excited to be doing this story - I met David earlier this year and decided he is to be my friend. 

Secondly, I'm a huge fan. David's work is painfully fun and absolutely relevant. His recent series 'IT'S OK TO NOT BE OK' says it all. 

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He boldly and colourfully embraces what many of us fear most; a kaleidoscope of thoughts and emotions, intertwined and all laid bare, his instagram full of poetic verses to accompany that little ol' thing we all have in common and that separates us from the other animals...THE HUMAN MIND. 

Art has the power to create a space to ask questions without necessarily demanding an answer.
'Happy Mess' interior mural, 2017

'Happy Mess' interior mural, 2017

Great artists go deep and like David ‘use art to map out their own complex thought process’ - the good, the bad, the ugly all take their place in line. In particular his interior mural 'Happy Mess' illustrates exactly that...

Invited to paint on a wall at Canvas Arts HQ - a pioneering digital arts community making art more accessible to new audiences - David constructed a self portrait of his own internal workings as Canvas Arts filmed the process and turned it into a short film aptly titled 'MINDFULMESS'.

It's his way of making sense of shit and we learn a little bit about cat shitting habits too! :)  

From 'Tales of Ordinary Madness' exhibit 2017

From 'Tales of Ordinary Madness' exhibit 2017

But not only is David fascinated by the mind and with that the spectrum of issues associated with mental health, he now subsequently helps to raise funds and awareness for Mind charity (amongst others) through his art. 

I am excited at the prospect of my artwork being associated with Mind and the work they are doing to support people with mental health problems.

Teaming up with the online art gallery, Culture Label, David has designed a range of t-shirts - 'IT'S OK TO NOT BE OK'- and so far they have released 'Beats matter, Piece of my Mind/ Peace of Mind, and You are Here', each with it's own little insight but with all raising funds for a vital cause and charity. 

T-shirt designs for MIND

T-shirt designs for MIND

The work for this series is inspired by the struggle to find balance and the quest for happiness. This is an issue I feel affects all of us every day.

The act is cool in itself but by embracing the uncomfortable and placing it in pop culture/ fashion we see these messages start to resonate and soon enough we are speaking about the unspeakable! Now that's what I call cool, and in the UK no easy feat!

In the words of Mr Shillinglaw...'keep smiling, have more fun' and remember to 'relax you are just cosmic dust'. Peace out!

Brick Lane mural, 2013

Brick Lane mural, 2013

Zetland House mural, 2016

Zetland House mural, 2016