Pigment print on Hahnemühle cotton rag, framed
50cm x 50cm
Edition of 6 + 2 AP
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are anxiety disorders that commonly co-occur in people with a history of trauma. For me, this manifested as a ritualised urge to pray five times (representing me), then 6 times (the devil’s number), and then 7 times (God’s number) in a row before I could fall asleep—often this would repeat neurotically until my mind was satisfied that I wasn’t going to die during the night and go to hell. I would replay this same repetitive sequence throughout the day while performing ‘normal’ daily activities, such as turning on or off a light switch or opening and closing a door. However, praying repetitively in a cyclic pattern before being able to sleep was the most frustrating aspect (the product of my PTSD mixing with my catholic primary school education to create a spiritual tic). If I didn’t, the outcome (in my mind) was certain death. To represent this, I disrupted, manipulated, and reimagined Hieronymus Bosch’s painting Hell (1490) using the numbers 5, 6, and 7 in the code. The work is an attempt to create a (digitally coded) performance piece of the agonising process of my ritualised and repetitive behaviours. It is an attempt to move the numbers and sequence from a torturous process to a creative one.