Enormous Hand Drawn Mural Shows an Artist’s Struggle

Today is the last day to see an impressive and quite enormous hand drawn piece by visual artist Kim Anderson at the Scotch Oakburn College in Tasmania, Australia. Called I Am My Own Prisoner, the 2.4m x 10.5m drawing was created with just pens and pencils. It shows a person lying down with their hands tied behind their back. The piece is not intended to depict an act of violence or self-harm but instead what an artist goes through, in other words, the artistic process.

As Anderson openly states, “For me this drawing also expresses the mixed feelings I have about being an artist. It is at times a very solitary profession, one that involves an acute sensitivity to which all the vagaries of life can become almost overwhelming to the extreme. And yet, this is something that I have to do – I almost have no choice in the matter. I struggle every day to deal with the world around me, and my way of making sense of it all is through my art. In making this work I am coming to terms with my own demons, in large scale, on full public display for all to witness. This is a painful process, but doing it in this way means that I can't back away from it. The work has to be finished. I've heard it said before that the deepest pain can bring forth true strength, courage and self-knowledge. I believe this is true for all of us in whatever form this revelation will take.”

“Making a work on this scale is an act of physical and mental endurance. It is exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating. The process of creating is important to me, perhaps even more important than the finished product itself. The ephemeral nature of this work is significant in that it is a unique event, witnessed only by a few, and will not end up wrapped in bubblewrap and dust in a corner of my studio. It will in fact remain on the wall, under a few coats of paint, for as long as that wall stands. This thought makes me smile – at the end of the day, the art still remains.”

In progress photo of I Am My Own Prisoner

While after today, I Am My Own Prisoner will be covered up under several coats of paint, the artist decided to leave another piece behind in the college’s art studio. Such incredible detail in her highly expressive works.

Kim Anderson’s website
First photo credit: Evan Starkey

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