August 20, 2019

August Shortlist – Why does loneliness in a social setting often go unnoticed?

Ryan Langfield

Acrylic, Tempera.Can they see me?, 2019118 x 168 cm

My entry explores the alienation that stems from social deprivation and inner-conflict. The pressing need to be unseen in a crowd full of vibrancy. The need to disappear in a place filled with people.

I explore the devastating impact of ones anxiety as well as ones loneliness – loneliness which is generally unrecognised due to the fact that it isn’t as simple as disassociating from people physically and staying in your room. It is a loneliness that has your physical whole there and ever-present, but your mind and mentality elsewhere.

We, as a community that has generalised the concept of ‘loneliness’ must realise that it is not always as transparent as locking yourself away, refusing to communicate with the world at the other side of the door.

Sometimes, loneliness stares at you right in the face, with the pursed-lip half smile and sunken eyes in the form of a class mate, a teacher or a fellow colleague. And you, unbeknownst to it’s grasp due to misconceptions you once believed, do nothing but smile back.

We need to challenge our view of loneliness and amend it. Look out for one another, it goes a long way.