Assignment 1

For Assignment 1 I have chosen the unusual subject of medicine containers and pills.

I recently did a pencil drawing of some pebbles whilst sat on a beach trying to capture the texture of them and have been thinking about other multiple (smaller) objects grouped together and their different textures.

After visiting the British Museum on the 2nd October 2016 and seeing an Art Installation “Cradle to Grave, In Sickness and in health” by a group of artists called Pharmacopoeia I have been researching the installation for my Creative Arts Today course final assignment. I then started thinking about Medicine in art as a whole and did research of still life artwork including medicine and pills. Apart from art installations such as  Damien Hirst’s  “Schizonphrenogenesis” and illustrations there are limited (nothing significant) drawings in charcoal or pencil of a still life involving just modern medicine (mainly pills).

Schizonphrenogenesis 2014- Damien Hirst

Damien Hirsts website quotes from his website:

“Pills are a brilliant little form, better than any minimalist art. They’re all designed to make you buy them… they come out of flowers, plants, things from the ground, and they make you feel good, you know, to just have a pill, to feel beauty.”

“continue Hirst’s exploration of contemporary belief systems; religion, love, art and medicine”.

Image result for medicine still life

Medical Still Life by De Scott Evans (1847-1898)

Personally I have chosen the medicine containers and pills to form a still life due to personal circumstances this year with my own health (broken elbow) and my daughter stay in hospital (broken wrist, internal bleeding and torn spleen). The symbolism and representation of the containers and pills are probably the most emotive objects currently in my life and I have battled with not wanting to take painkillers (Tramadol- bad side effects) and dealing with the pain.Then my coincidence a 2 part documentary on BBC1 “The Doctor who gave up drugs” which then struck a cord and summarized my beliefs on the use of modern medicines and the over use of prescription pills, pills in general in the UK. I am particularly interested in the over prescription of anti- depressants and as a subject would like to explore this further at a later point in my art. However for now I have mainly used vitamins and paracetamol capsules.

Object Representation-

Jar- A head full of Dreams (Influenced by  Cold play’s album) A head full of pills-  A Jar full of pills, it also gives opportunity to reflect light.

Piraton liquid bottle- reflection and triggers a memory of an allergic reaction my daughter and I had to three guinea pigs.

Vitamin D prescribed rectangle box- I had a blood test that showed a deficiency of Vitamin D shortly before breaking my elbow.

Tub of vitamin C- continues the vitamin theme and  I need energy!!

Loose pills- Vitamins and paracetamol for pain relief.

A small tub of Kalms- that was out of date and smelt so bad. ( I had no idea medicines could smell). My first link to or an interpretation of antidepressants and mental health.

I am a minimalist with objects as I do not put much value on objects as a whole. I am not sure if its because I traveled a lot with work or lived abroad that often objects were stored or given to charity. I want to explore all the above in my drawings, try to find beauty and atmosphere in a a sterile perfectly formed product that is in every home in the UK.


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