Antidepressant Monoprints

Personal Projects, Work in Progress

I made these monoprints back at the beginning of lockdown, to open up a discussion about the side effects of antidepressant medications, based on my own personal experiences with Fluoxetine, Citalopram, and Venlafaxine. I finally got round to scanning them and doing minor Photoshop edits (a little bit of resizing).

These are not all the possible side effects of these medications and aren’t necessarily the worst, but they are some of the ones that I have struggled with the most- and some of which I didn’t actually realise were side effects of my medication until I did further research. I would potentially like to expand this into a zine for people who are considering antidepressants- often medication is forced onto patients instead of therapy or delving into the reasons why people are feeling the way they are, and in a short 10-20 minute doctors appointment we are assessed (sometimes wrongly) as having depression and are given a prescription with very little explanation as to why they are being prescribed and the affects they can have on your body and mind. I personally have found medication helpful, but I think people need to know the full facts before deciding whether or not to take something. I am also considering redoing the monoprints over the top of the paper inserts that come with the medication detailing the side effects as a development, as I see these very much as a starting point.

“An Ode to My Vagina” work at Human Manifesto, CSM

Exhibitions, Photographs, UNIT 2, Work in Progress

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Process photos from screen-printing my illustration and poem piece “An Ode to My Vagina”. So far I only have the one finished print which I put into the Human Manifesto exhibition at CSM, ran jointly by the ArtsFem and LGBTQ societies at UAL, but I intend to print a limited run of this colour scheme, and others, to sell as prints. The illustration was drawn in pencil then gone over in pen, and scanned then cleaned up on Photoshop before I took it to the printmaking studios, and the poem (originally written on my phone) was also handwritten, scanned, and edited on Photoshop before printing.

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These photos show the piece being put up in the exhibition, and a few shots of the piece surrounded by other works in the show. Overall I am very happy with the presentation of my work, and of the response I got from attendees, so I would consider this a success, even though the text is slightly off centre on the illustration (something I will correct when I print more copies in print making).

This piece is deeply personal to me- as a non binary person I have always struggled with accepting my body, and in particular my vagina. For most of my life I hated it and wished it didn’t exist, and only saw it as existing for the pleasure of my sexual partners, not myself. Over the last few years I have been trying to accept, and eventually love, my body the way it is, which is very difficult when you have a lifetime of self hatred and self loathing built into your brain, and as part of this I started masturbating. Previously it was something I viewed as disgusting and dirty, something unnatural, but at the same time I felt broken for having no experience of it, so gradually discovering my body and coming to terms with my vagina’s existence, and my own independence (free of the burden of sexually gratifying others) has been a long journey. Many non binary people, trans men, and cis women have similar struggles with their bodies, but with this piece of work I speak purely for myself, and my own body.

Low Residency- one day monoprinting workshop

river project, Work in Progress

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A one day monoprinting workshop during the Low Residency.
The photos above show the process of monoprinting- I started off with some large print outs of a few of the macro photos I took of the bones, and inked up a plate with a roller. To make the prints I put a sheet of paper down onto the inked up plate, with one of the print outs on top of that. I then carefully drew over the photo with a pencil, applying harder pressure to create a darker mark, and lighter pressure for lighter marks and shading. Unfortunately the first few attempts didn’t work so well, as the paper I had chosen to print on was too thick, so not a lot of the lighter details were picked up. I then experimented with different mark making techniques on the thick paper and also on newsprint, until I was happy.

The smaller print and ghost print* (rectangular shaped) were made by soaking the thicker paper in water and then making the prints, but due to the amount of detail I was trying to capture the paper dried before I finished the print, meaning it didn’t come out as well as I was hoping. I ran the plate through the press with the second soaked sheet any way, to make the ghost print (black print with white lines).

To make the larger, better print, and the ghost print made from that, I used newsprint, as it didn’t need to be soaked, and picked up even the lighter marks made on the paper. I spent about an hour and half on this print as I really wanted to capture all of the tiny details from the photograph, and overall I am pleased with how this came out! I then ran the plate through the press with a second sheet to get the ghost print. One of the issues with newsprint is how fragile it is, and also that it discolours over time, but this could work in my favour, as the gradual transition of the paper will mimic how bones discolour over time with age, which is quite beautiful.

For a one day project I am very pleased with how the prints came out, and I had fun with the process. I think based on these outcomes that the macro photos would look very beautiful if I photo etched them, so this is something I may consider doing in the future.

* a ghost print is a print made from the negative of the original print- in this case when you remove the sheet of paper from the inked up plate wherever you have made a mark the ink will have transferred to the paper, giving you a positive print. To make a negative you then run the plate through the press with another sheet of paper, and this gives you a negative or ‘ghost’ print.