'Rites of Passage' - Tribalism and a sense of Belonging

Handbasin, Artist's Blood, Potassium Crystals, Razor Blade


'Rites of Passage' is a metaphor for self-harm as a form of belonging, and a 'rite of passage' within certain groups within our culture. Stemming from 'Emo' Culture, a form of tribal culture that was the last 'style tribe' of British youth; Self-harm was a part of many young people's lives growing up at the same time as myself, and is considered a part of many young lives adolescence; whether related to mental illness, a form of catharsis, or even an attempt to belong to a culture and certain group.

Within the South Wales Valleys, mental health issues are front and centre. It is considered one of the most vulnerable places for suicide and depression, and has one of the highest rates of depression and anti-depression medication in Europe. Relating to recent cuts and decimation of public services relating to mental health issues, I am hoping to highlight these aforementioned issues and the fragility of those in these vulnerable positions through this work. If so many people have a history of self-harm, then if they are to fall under the umbrella of mental health, they require aid and help that they may not receive. It also contains a notion of forced growth, in regards to the synthetic crystals grown holding some of my own blood within their form. The crystals grow from the blood, and those who have suffered may have grown and flourished despite this dark place within their lives.