January 5, 2016

I have long felt a sense of duty towards being open about my own struggles with mental health, in the hope that the stigma and benightedness I have experienced will not continue to occur. 

The name of the film comes from my own Mummy dearest. She has taken to calling me "fruitcake" in a mocking but affectionate way. I think if anyone else called me 'fruitcake' I'd be mortally offended. It seemed a fitting title. 

Fruitcake is a film based on my personal experiences with mental health, as well as other sufferers I met during my time spent in psychiatric hospital. It documents the realities of psychosis and mania, and highlights the current unavailability o...

November 5, 2015

having decided to keep the flashing text as a motif running through the film. I redesigned the shot of the man being swallowed by the floor. I also decided that all the colours of the room should be in constant change, to add to the strangeness and anxiety of the shot. 

November 5, 2015

I decided to use the medication warning label as a motif running through the film, so i composited it into this shot, and also the one of the pills falling. I hope this will bring all the various shots of the film together, and keep something cohesive running throughout.  

October 30, 2015

I decided not to make any 'characters' in my film, as I wanted the people to feel faceless. Passed over as society degrades sufferers of severe mental health problems to "nutters". 

I had this idea to use the side effects warning from medication to make up the figure. As though it is his condition that defines him, and he is nothing else. 

I cut each figure out with a scalpel, and then scanned them backed with green paper, so I could easily composite the medication warning animation underneath. 

October 14, 2015

I started experimenting with inverted imagery, as I wanted all the images to have a sense of "wrongness",  that something was unnatural or out of place. I feel that this would help to give a sense of the distress felt during episodes of anxiety and psychosis. 

I decided against using a key to help with colour, opting instead to let some colours seem strange and not quite right. 

 I have been making my images in layers and then compositing them digitally. 

October 12, 2015

I was desperate for ways to feel some kind of control over my life, while being in hospital. I asked to be allowed my razor, to have a bath and shave my legs. 

Since the ward was so short staffed, I had to have a male member of staff watch over me. 

Sat in a small bathroom, with no curtains. A strange man I did not know watching me shave my legs. I have never felt such an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability. 

October 12, 2015

I remember when I first arrived on the ward, having to hand over all the things I couldn't be trusted with. Shoelaces, phone charger, tweezers, and razor blades. 

October 11, 2015

One man often placed the dice in his mouth. Was he just used to all the medication?

October 11, 2015

Finding an old monopoly board on the ward made for a very happy moment. Actually playing it was another thing entirely.

October 9, 2015

Another of the characters I met, was a man who refused to walk across the floor.

He would walk across chairs, tables and sofas. He would even steal dinner trays from the cantine in order to create his own stepping stones across the floor. 

He explained to me that the floor "would swallow him" should he step on it. 

It seemed to me, like a sad perversion of the old childhood game 'the floor is lava', and something which obviously caused him a great amount of pain and distress. 

This is how I visualised his fears. 

October 9, 2015

During my time in hospital, I often spoke with other patients about their various struggles with mania and psychosis. 

There was a man on the psychiatric ward who would spend his days asking everyone, "Have you seen the purple-headed rabbit?!".

Alas, I never met him.

I am interested in creating artwork that illustrates not just what these people saw during their episodes, but also how it felt.

This is how I imagine the purple headed rabbit. 

October 8, 2015

It feels like an endless cycle of side effects and withdrawal.   

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