DAVIS She Walks, February 2017, 52cm diameter, Oil and Charcoal on Gessoed Paper WEB

I'm Not Done

Charley-Lois Davis


5 - 23 April 2017

Opening Wednesday 5 April, 6.30-8pm

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In 2015, at a point in my life where I had found what I thought was my life-calling purpose, I became too unwell to pursue my dream career in the medical field. Over time I came to realise that what I thought would be a brief interlude to my studies would become a life-changing undoing. I resisted and fought. However, medicine failed me for many months and now only gets me so far. For a while it felt as though almost everything had been taken away from me. The stigma I felt and witnessed that shrouds people with chronic and mental illness was more painful than the migraine I have had for almost two years.

At some point I decided that if I couldn’t have the career that I wanted, that I was going to do something about the degrading, damaging and insidious perception of people who live with stigmatised medical conditions. And I painted.

These works are moments of my life unfolded with a hand sometimes numb, sometimes prickling, and sometimes shaking. I have painted in pain both physical and emotional - and I see that pain looking back at me. I have painted with a sense of hope and elevation and I have painted with anger and conviction. And when I step back and see my work for the first time, I see myself looking back.

Millions of Australians live with a mental illness. Millions live with debilitating invisible conditions. Thousands will pass away or suffer needlessly because they are made to feel selfish, weak, damaged, deviant or unwanted. I hope that you see the sincerity of my intentions in my work. But what I fiercely want is for people to shift their view of stigmatised medical conditions and stand up for the people who need them. I don’t believe that is too much to ask for.

This exhibition is especially dedicated to those who live or have lived with personality disorders, dissociative identity disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis.

Opening Night wines supplied by