Recreate Your Values.

The John Byrne Award is a library of creative work from 16-25 year olds across Scotland. Find out how to enter

State of Mind

State of Mind

State of Mind

Bethany Lane

On the final day of my first semester at art college, I was tasked with the challenge of creating a self-portrait reflecting my tastes, opinions and overall state of mind. For me, this project couldn't have come at a better time, as this was the day I was told in official, university-endorsed black and white that I was not good at art. To have my work - my very thoughts and feelings - branded with the lowest possible grade was heart breaking. However, this gave me the inspiration I needed for my self-portrait. I believe that the best art is the result of raw, unfiltered expression of oneself, which often comes with a certain amount of vulnerability. So here I am, standing half naked before the viewer with a gun to my head, staring earnestly into their eyes as I await their verdict. This is both a reflection of my struggle to want to express myself fully, yet a torturing of myself over the opinions of those around me, and also how much of an impact badly delivered criticism can have on a young artist.

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Gone But Never Known

Gone But Never Known