In August 2020 I had the incredible opportunity to join the Dark Collective on their online Art group exhibition titled “Obscurum” that ran from the 17th of August to 31st of August 2020. The Dark collective is a group of fine Arts artists who joined together in order to develop and produce global artistic initiatives, bringing together international practitioners from various sectors in the Arts field.
The initiative “Obscurum” is an online art exhibition comprised of 26 artists across the globe, paired with a booklet with the artists’ works and a feature on The Dark Collective’s social media. The excess fees of the Booklet budget have also gone towards a no kill animal shelter located in the South West of England. This exhibition had free theme and aimed towards showcasing a rich variety of artworks into an eclectic collection of concepts, techniques and visuals. This initiative is also inclusive of all demographics of varied age, gender, sexual orientation, religion and culture, broadening the and this way opening the platform for artists who have fewer opportunities in the Arts sector.
My submission for this initiative was an artwork under the Visual Arts category, tackling the theme of mental wellbeing and more precisely the inner world that is as complex as the outside, only invisible. The emphasis in this instance is on the psychological struggles that affect our daily lives greatly but that we supress and keep hidden due to fear of judgement or inadequacy, consequently leading to escalation of the problem. In order to facilitate the portrayal of the abstract nature of this problem I used symbols in the form of abstract shapes, colours and animals to support the narrative i’m trying to convey. My main goal with this work is to raise awareness to mental health and normalise the discussion surrounding it.
The title of my exhibition piece is “Overthinking” and is a depiction of the inner battle between different dark thoughts, competing for the position of the worst-case scenario while simultaneously destroying themselves and their host in the process. Many times in life, we are overcome with irrational self-destructive thought patterns, most of which are repetitive and take us down a spiral of a never ending sequence of distorted views of reality. These exaggerated thought patterns prey on our insecurities and slowly start taking form and almost an identity of their own. In the midst of muddled thoughts there are still some “golden nuggets” of wisdom coming through but these are often pushed out of our minds throughout the chaotic process. This piece reflects on the theme of inner psychic states that torment people, taken from my personal experience as a basis to explore some of the vague and abstract psychological concepts that become very personal and take onto specific forms the more you look into them.
The Obscurum exhibition occurred online on a website dedicated solely to this project and although it was only available during the window between the 17th to the 31st of August, the artists’ works can still be found featured on the Dark Collective’s Instagram, and promotional content can also be found on Facebook.
Participating in an online art exhibition, and Art booklet is a long time dream of mine that came true, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Being featured next to such an amazing cast of Art Practitioners was more than I had expected, specially due to the global nature of the initiative. This exhibition not only aimed towards an international collaboration that surpassed limitations of distance and gallery space but also focused on promoting the emerging contemporary artists in each of our areas of expertise by featuring us with our social media outlets, website and portfolios paired with our artist statements. And this way providing the viewers with different options to support us in our practice as well as introducing the audience to each artist’s personal practice.
The second stage of Obscurum was a limited edition printed booklet with all the artists’ works alongside their artist statement, as a means to not only provide the artists with a physical copy of the exhibition but also to supply the audience with all artworks in an accessible format whilst publicising the artists and their works. Personally, having a booklet of the exhibition is great and makes me feel part of a larger, very talented community and at the same time have evidence of the initiative in the form of memorabilia.
All excess fees for the printing and production of the Booklet were donated towards the organisation All Creatures Great & small, a no kill animal shelter whose goal is to rehabilitate and re-home abused, injured, unwanted and orphaned animals. I am extremely happy for being part of this initiative, not only due to the artistic nature of the project but specially due to the humanitarian cause that it supports, by using all means possible to ensure the well treatment and care of animals in need.
I am very grateful to the Dark Collective for bringing me on board of such an amazing project, and I am honoured to be featured alongside a selection of such great artists.
Thank you so much for reading,
© 2021, Luisa Freitas