The sculptures of Chuckmatrix Clip always had a strong dark side for me. About 6 months ago I asked him if he would like to exhibit at Art India Gallery and to concentrate on this dark side. Luckily he agreed.

I considered that the juxtaposition of the colourful, bright patterns of Dan Freeland's art would provide Chuck's work with the greatest possible contrast. Both artists started to work with enthusiasm and  they happily have included me in their creative process, inviting me in from time to time and letting me watch their work growing. In the hours we spent together we had intense talks, from which resulted the title of this exhibition: INNER PRISONS AND ESCAPES.

Chuck submitted, in the meantime, a work to the UWA Contest called “The Scent of Her”. The sculpture showed a man lying in bed crying, with a bear in his arms. The work touched me deeply.  It requires a large amount of courage for a man, with typical male attitudes, to reveal a self portrait like this.

This sculpture is the final piece of the upcoming exhibition. It tells the story of Chuckmatrix's struggle with mental disease and gives the visitor a strong impression of being hospitalized in an asylum.

We talked about self perception, the thin line between mental health and disease, prejudices and the hard road to recovery.

In contrast, Dan's use of pornographic images which are processed to colourful patterns, lead to other talks about cybersex and the SL users who are just here for erotic adventures. Dan works for the first time with animated textures. The slow, constantly changing patterns and repetitions are not only beautiful but they also inspire one to reflect on addiction.

And suddenly I understood...

The INNER PRISONS may look more frightening but they provide a seed of hope whilst the yearned for ESCAPES look bright, but have potentially dangerous undercurrents.

Dan Freeland about ESCAPES:

"My work shown in sl manipulates and abstracts pornographic imagery.  Porn is generally not treated as art, yet it is part of our visual language. Porn as an escape for some, an anathema for others, but to simply dismiss it or hide it under the bed denies us the ability to understand something about who we are. I look for the art in it."

Chuckmatrix Clip about INNER PRISONS:

"In February 2003 I was at Rochester Institute studying medical illustration. I had become extremely depressed, to the point of becoming suicidal. The police came and brought me to a local hospital where they instantly decided I had clinical depression, slapped a bottle of antidepressants in my hand and sent me on my way. I took the rest of the school year off, and that summer to get some therapy. By the end of the summer I was feeling good. REALLY good, so I went back to school. What no one knew then, was that I was in fact bipolar, and had merely lapsed into a manic phase that was growing out of control.

    Within a couple of months of going back, I started to rapid cycle. I was awake for days on end, drinking, partying, and going to the one class I liked which was Human Gross Anatomy. I admittedly was using the class to teach myself how to more effectively hurt people. Then I would crash for a couple of days, not getting out of bed except to use the bathroom. I started hearing voices, seeing things that no one should have to see, and started becoming more and more paranoid. By Thanksgiving I was pretty well gone. On Thanksgiving break, while home with my parents, I did and said somethings that I'm not proud of, and landed myself in the local mental hospital by my home. After a lengthy and in depth psychiatric evaluation, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder mixed type with psychotic tendencies.

    There is much I could tell you about the ten months I spent in the hospital. Instead, I will limit it to this story, the story behind the final piece in this exhibit...  After several months in the hospital, and much discussion as to the safety of it, the doctors allowed my parents to bring me the stuffed bear that I had been given on my first birthday. He had seen me through some hard times in my life, and during this challenging time, I had asked for him several times. Finally, I had him, and I sat him against my pillow. That night, I lay down in bed, cuddled up with my teddy bear, and took a deep breath. I smelled the scent of my mother's perfume so strongly. Leaning down I sniffed lightly at White Bear (I named him when I was one ok?) and he smelled like my mom through and through. I realized in that moment, that SHE had been sleeping with him for comfort. I realized that we had both sought comfort from him as we, in essence, sought the same thing... ME. The me who had been lost in mental illness and resentment of things past. And so, I screamed. I buried my face in my pillow and let out a silent scream that only God could have heard, and cried for the first time in years.
    It was a moment of deep self reflection. I knew in that one moment everything that had changed, everything that would need to be changed, and that I wasn't as separated from my parents as I thought. She had found comfort in my old stuffed bear, and actually given up that little bit of comfort for my sake as I fought to find myself somewhere deep in a disturbed mind.

   A decade later, I've turned my life around. After a few years in massive amounts of therapy, group therapy, another suicide attempt, and a bit more therapy, I went back to college for graphic design. I took it slow at first, but soon found my niche. I was part of a by invitation only class that did work on live projects for local businesses. I graduated last year, and aside from SL I do freelance work while I look for a full time position. No matter how far you fall, there is always a way back up."

INNER PRISONS AND ESCAPES - Chuckmatrix Clip and Dan Freeland

Opening: August 14th at 11 AM SLT . The opening starts with the inauguration of the ART in Hats Visitors Contest.

Taxi: sadly gone

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