Category: Food for Thought
Britt Merrylees Art Blog – Belonging
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For a long time I have been yearning to discuss belongingness, sub cultures and conformity- its ideology and relevance to modernity. This subject is something that I feel emotionally resonant about and until now I haven’t had the ideal platform to voice my thoughts on the matter. First off, I must highlight the concept of belongingness or what it means to have a sense of belonging. Simply put, a sense of belonging means gaining acceptance within a social circle, organisation or group within some sort of social construct. In other words, it involves sharing similar commonalities, values or skills with other people in an environment and formulating an identity, thus, giving us a purpose. We as a people are herded creatures with a basic instinct or need of attaining a sense of security, hence the reason why we tend to associate ourselves within safe spaces. For example, to fulfil this inherent need we may become a member of a church, a Facebook group, a band or a club etc. Why? – Because it satisfies us both emotionally and psychologically.

 

However, sometimes this insatiable urgency to gain acceptance can very well put us in unfavourable situations. Take for instance, you’re in a group and you try to avoid conflict by going along with the group’s consensus even though you have a different opinion. This is otherwise known as the phenomenon “group-think”.  I have on many occasions over the years bear witness and fell victim to the latter. During my younger years, I was quite naive. I couldn’t completely understand how I came to acquire numerous varying interests that underpinned my capacity to potentially fit within multiple group settings. Likewise, we were all teenagers once and followed our friends and the scenes they were into, that was the way we bonded, learned and found appreciation for new and different things. As I grew older and now looking back at that period in my life I realise that some of the things I liked from my past experiences in those groups still resonates with me.

 

I think it is crucial that I highlight my thoughts and observations about belongingness because it is of paramount importance that everyone whom are victims of its adverse effects receive my message; accept and love yourself for who you are and don’t lose yourself in search of belonging. One thing for sure, I have learnt from being a part of groups that its culture plays an influential role in your values and morals. There is always some individual that thinks they are above the group or knows best, and expect you to jump high or low when they say X, Y and Z. But I beg to differ, if what they are saying doesn’t sit well with you then rise to the challenge and voice your opinion, even though you may feel alone. I remember when I was a teenager; going through my “dark period” I was immersed into the emo music scene. I gravitated towards it because it symbolised “non-conformity” or so I assumed. However, at the same time everyone conformed to the group’s culture of wearing black clothes, and therein lays the hypocrisy of conformity. Hence, it’s important to pay attention to what groups really stand for and if feel their values align with yours.

 

In today’s society, this technological age, we can sometimes get lost when using our phones or typing behind the computer. Media is everywhere and constantly persuades us to follow popular trends. This is fine, but it is equally important to challenge the status quo, don’t just sit quietly and accept it, stay true to who you are as a person. It makes absolutely no sense to allow something that is damaging to you and others to progress. In other words, you would be doing a disservice to the world. So I challenge YOU to be YOU, let the world know who you are and never be afraid of not belonging.

March 13, 2017 in Food for Thought

Britt Merrylees Art Blog – Art Auction
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In November of last year I was approached by Epilepsy Action Australia for a donation of one of my pieces. The organisation provides several services to persons with epilepsy, other seizure disorders and the wider community hence, I was elated and more than happy to assist. In 2016, Epilepsy Action Australia started an online art charity auction and due to its huge success they decided to host another this year. I was told that the organisers discovered my work through Instagram to which I was truly surprised and experience a sense of accomplishment. This proved that my hard work on Instagram was paying off in my quest for exposure. Having the opportunity to be part of this venture was indeed an educational experience since I was unaware of the condition of Epilepsy and have never crossed paths with anyone affected by it. Luckily for me I was provided with sufficient information and resources to assist in my understanding of the disorder.

 

As I was gathering my thoughts to begin creating the piece for the auction, it struck me to craft this design as part of my fluid series which is currently in progress. My fluid series is simply about staying grounded and allowing emotions and current state of affairs to manifest into cocktails of textures and colours. The creations in this series and the concepts rooted within it make the art what it is. Since this series focuses on colour and texture as its primary elements, it was in congruence with the auction piece. The one stipulation though was the inclusion of the colour purple, which is the international colour for Epilepsy. As I was ready to create this piece I decided to use a combination of purple, blue and white. This fusion of colours tends to form a beautiful coalescence which I find to be very calming and soothing. It gives a sort of relief almost like a breath of fresh air so to speak, that eases the mind into a tranquil state.

 

The auction is set to open on 14th February, 2017 (Valentine’s Day).
For information about this charity auction click here and be sure to check out my piece here as well as all the other participating artists.

 

Help spread the awareness and bring happiness and joy to children and families affected by Epilepsy.

February 13, 2017 in Charity Food for Thought Inspiration / Art

Britt Merrylees Art Blog – Uber & Metaphors

As an Uber driver, while on the road my mind often works like a lightning bolt, discharging thoughts and reflecting on things that holds even the simplest meanings. I’ve noticed that people’s personality tends to shine through their driving style on the road. Whether you’re rude and aggressive, calm and collective or reckless and chancy, your attitudes and traits are projected behind the wheel. As I observed this link, my mind travelled into figuring out different metaphors that can be associated with driving on the road and realistic scenarios.

 

While cruising through, street after street, my eyes landed on the many signs and symbols used to guide safe driving. In particular, the lines on the road indicates what actions we should or should not be taking, similar to having personal boundaries in my life that allows for intimate connections or privacy. Just like the solid white lines indicates drivers not to cross lanes to prevent collisions, we often set personal or professional boundaries in terms of our speech or actions around others to avoid conflicts. Although I have experienced difficulty with setting boundaries in friendships and relationships with family, as I learn and mature as a person, my awareness is developing day by day. Now that I am certain of what boundaries I want to maintain, my consciousness is in motion and I am able to quickly determine whether my bounds are being crossed or intruded upon. What do lines symbolise for you?

 

The metaphoric representation certainly stuck with me, and I transcended towards the symbolic nature of colours used on the road and in traffic lights. When the traffic light shines red it signals us to stop, similarly, things that surround us on a daily basis are marketed with the use of the colour red, but do we ever stop to think about the meaning it holds? Things like fast foods or process foods are often associated with the colour red and are used as a marketing strategy to draw people towards these types of products. Green signifies to ‘go’ on the roadway, just like we should be ‘going’ or ‘moving towards’ a healthier lifestyle which is associated with the colour green. We proceed with caution behind the wheel when the light turns orange, just like we might proceed with caution on Halloween. If we applied the traffic light colour strategy to our everyday life, would certain choices be different?

 

Let me know your answers to both questions below, curious to see your thoughts!

December 12, 2016 in Food for Thought

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