Oil on Linen on Birchwood

60 x 40 cm

This painting references to the dominant clinical practice that “what we can see, it is a definitive evidence that it exist, we can fix or remove. What we can not see or is not shown, it is an evidence that it does not exist”.

Through this painting I wanted to communicate about this prevalent clinical attitude in our culture which poses as a huge psycho-social barrier for a person living with pain because we are consequently needing to prove that we are in pain despite the lack of visual evidence. It demonstrates how confusing and damaging this dominant clinical practice can be for a pain patient.

This painting is about one of my worst stages of fears and confusing thoughts before I had learned about pain science and appropriate pain management.

Many doctors had said to me that they couldn’t find anything that would cause any pain and so concluded that I shouldn’t feel any pain.

Yet I used to experience all-consuming and maddening bouts of pain. These delirious moments I could not distinguish what was rational or irrational thoughts going through my head. I used to rock back and forth sitting on my bed with the posture you see in the painting. I was sure I would find something that was drastically wrong once I open it up and see.

I was making plans in my head about me walking in to the kitchen then, and cutting my stomach open. I would then be sure to see something monstrous sitting in there destroying my organs which must had been hiding somewhere deep inside during each medical examination.

I fantasised that I would then pull out the monster, and I would get better straight away. This painting was about the moment of pulling the monster out of my stomach but I did it with my back turned away from the audience because didn't want other people to see me doing it. I was so ashamed of my thoughts, but I was so obsessed about doing it, I did not want anybody stopping me.

The blue clinical light shines directly above me, as if I were being interrogated alone in a cold isolated room without anyone wanting to believe anything I say.

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