Joel Parkinson - Elude

Seeking protection through immersion – escapism, I’ve discovered there is appeal in the fantasy of a utopia. For me, a place free of judgement and prejudice. People do not seek consolation in each other but rather themselves out of fear. Mental illness and expectations can exert pressure on us and to a degree we neglect the option of confiding in others and seek withdrawal. This is the idea I wanted to convey.

Elude, a self-portrait, depicts myself in a state of fear and isolation. In the image, the book serves as a literal shield to the rain, being a violent and overwhelming metaphor for the hostility of expectation exerted by society. Many succumb to the fear of being judged and for being weak. The devastating impact that this side of society has, takes physical form – we see blood and pain. This pain is shown on the exterior – no longer bottled up inside. Recently, I’ve heard a lot of people apologizing for showing emotion. I had an epiphany. Why do we feel obligated to apologize simply for being open? Do we stigmatise it?