Graphic design student and budding artist Thomas Wightman crafted a beautifully intricate book sculpture for his major project at Edinburgh Napier University. The assignment, referred to as The Medium is the Message, required students to focus on a theme–in Wightman’s case, it’s “addiction”–and hone in on the topic through visual interpretation and to design with a sense of wonder. The artist centered his attention on the inner obstacles faced by those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, choosing to reflect their daily struggles in life through sculpted text.
Wightman explains the deeper meaning of his selected medium and the image he chose to depict: “The book firstly is closed hiding the addiction from view in the same manner as those who hide these addictions from loved ones and friends. However when the book is opened it reveals the chaotic emotions felt. Panic attacks are heavily associated with Obsessive Compulsive disorder and I wanted to convey this through the metaphor of a sinking ship in a vortex drowning from the obsession. Also the symptoms of a panic attack include loss of breath in the same way as drowning in water. However I wanted to add the anchor and typographic rope showing these problems can be solved and the ship can be saved in the same way as those who suffer from OCD when they receive proper treatment.”