I would not necessarily call Surry Hills, Sydney a red-light district area although I have been previously approached for a somewhat dodgy “filming” opportunity. In turn, I would not necessarily call this piece a reflection of myself but more a reflection of what I felt during a state of compulsion.
I should start from the beginning.
I felt strongly compelled to take a walk through the dark alleyways in Surry Hills after work one night about a week ago. No words could describe how I felt walking alone in the dark with shadows around me. I was being led and I let it. When I finished my wander, I started drawing ferociously with no idea what it was I was shaping.
As I started to fall deeper into this world – one of prostitution and one of drugs; I gained an insight into what I was seeing – the absolute despair that some of us are trapped in. I felt the shame and the hopelessness; there are some who come to this by choice, others not; but in the end, it was truly a similar fall. I felt what it was like for some of them to accept this despair and repeat each day’s cycle.
What I experienced while working on this was so intense, it evoked a physical reaction; I had no choice but to withdraw. I couldn’t finish the piece. I was even scared of going back to it. But I wanted to finish it. For days I left it…
And then one night, I dreamt. A recurring idea throughout the night. Each sequence was different but it was the same – I was always in a situation where I wanted someone to come save me, and they did or they didn’t. It always woke me when it got to this point – I felt my heart pounding, my brain in chaos. I opened my eyes and it was no one but me who took me out of this panic. Thus I knew how to finish my piece.
This explains the secondary bear in my piece and why this bear has no outline.
When we fall into despair, all we want to do at times is to lie there and repeat the cycle because we are comfortable with it. Change is a scary thing. However, if we stop to think “Why haven’t we taken the steps to end it? Why do we go on?” what is it that we unveil? Perhaps a part of us still hope; a desperate foolish wish for a hand to save us – a hand that may or may not reach out. Perhaps in the end, we are our own saviours. Perhaps the other bear is not someone else after all, but a mirror of our own hidden strengths within.