This week we bring the audience of All That is Neuro something that is a little out of the ordinary for our blog. You may be aware that the 8th-14th of May marked Mental Health Awareness week – where people from all over the world took it upon themselves to help spread awareness of mental health and help fight the stigma. Continuing the pledge to ‘spread the word’, here we feature a post about the work of Chloe Thomas, a final year graphic design student at Nottingham Trent University who utilised her artistic talents to portray the anxious mind in its many different states.
What is the topic of your project, how did you approach it and why?
“Anxiety is something that is really close to my heart. I struggle to express how it is making me feel sometimes and don’t believe that people fully understand it. With the “Through Your Mind” project, I aim to raise awareness of what it feels like to be anxious by creating visual representations of the anxious mind.
I asked friends and family who suffer from anxiety to draw diagrams of what their brain ‘looks like’ when they are feeling anxious. Using this research, I then recreated their ‘brain drawings’ as 3D sculptures.
Discovering mould-making and casting recently has really inspired my work, so I really loved being able to use what I’ve learned in the studio in my final year of university to make something tactile and visually interesting.”
What are the key features of your designs and how do they relate to anxiety?
“For this project, I built three brains:
- One in concrete (to represent the heaviness that an anxious brain can feel).
- A pink plaster brain covered in silly string (to communicate the confusion and muddled thoughts that can be felt).
- A black and white layered brain (cast in resin to show the lack of enthusiasm and motivation that anxiety can leave you with).”
What do you hope your project will bring to the general public?
“I’d love to continue with Through Your Mind by creating a larger collection of brain sculptures to represent more individuals. This would show that anyone can suffer from anxiety in their own individual way – which I think is a really important message to communicate.”
“I’d like people to feel able to open up about their anxieties by seeing others who have done so. I’d also like to be rid of the stigma attached to anxiety by helping people to gain some understanding of what it feels like and see the sheer number of people who suffer from anxiety. It’s completely normal and nobody should feel that they can’t speak out about it!”
If you are feeling inspired and want to have a gander at more of Chloe’s work, please take a look at her portfolio: chloethomas.myportfolio.com
By Molly Campbell