The Hysteria of Youth

The Hysteria of Youth

Steven Dale

My piece shows a young person in his bedroom, alone on his computer. It encapsulates the chaos of the adolescent experience - a time, I believe, to be the most isolating and alienating part of a young person’s life. The painting is composed to closer examine this isolation and provide a little hope for anyone that would suffer through this time.

Young people are the victims of blatant social media marketing campaigns, designed to prey on the point that humans feel loneliest, at the time they want to be a part of something most. We must follow the masses lest we labelled the weirdo that doesn't do as others do. The media still enjoys portraying teenagers as hoodies and delinquents - driving a wedge between us and society on both sides of our age. The Scottish government was criticised last year during the referendum for allowing 16/17 year olds the vote, despite the fact that whatever the vote decided would impact our lives the most heavily. In speaking to teenagers and adults alike during the lead up to the vote I often found that it was the youth that were the more informed and almost always the ones willing to have a calm debate if they had conflicting opinions. The painting is essentially a statement about the state of today's adolescents increasing reliance on the Internet. They are a product of their environments, forced to find comfort in inanimate machines. 


VisualJohn Byrne Award