Jean was the name of my grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia for the past 8 years. I decided to document what was resultantly her last year as a way of understanding her illness and how it gradually changed my style of painting. I wanted to show the isolation of these particular illnesses. How she was battling both with the colour and intensity of the outside world and the noise in her own mind. This piece was painted in acrylic as it allowed me show both a harsh and dream-like situation with the use of different brushstrokes.
I took inspiration from Lucien Freud’s technique of having a close relationship with his subjects, getting to really know them before he tries to capture their expression and body language in order to create a more intense and true portrait of their nature. Wanting to document their feelings, emotions and overall story that they carry along with them.
This piece in particular, I chose as it told the story of these illnesses. It not only helped me cope but also understand my grandmothers struggles and gave me a chance to add colour and my own perspective to her story.