December 31, 2018

Can early life trauma subconsciously impact my future choices?

Calum Stevenson


When I was younger, I became unwell during a family holiday which left me in a foreign hospital hooked up to an IV line. Since that experience I’ve always been fascinated by my fear of medical environments. Though it makes me uncomfortable, I like to work with these scenes and combine them with my childhood surroundings to make a very personal painting. I grew up around the area of Cumbernauld where I constantly admired the grim beauty of various Brutalist architecture buildings. I enjoy painting these buildings within my work as I look back on the place that I have a strong yet unappreciated connection with.

The experience I had makes me choose poorly in regards to what is best for my health. Recently, there were multiple occasions where my fear presented itself and affected my ability to follow through with recommended procedures. The work is important as it helps me to visually analyse my fear and express the control a phobia can have over an individual. From my submitted painting I can find myself as the small figure being examined, my decisions are out with my control as I am opened up by the surgeon.

130cm x 92cm
Oil on wooden board