AOH 2016 Feature: The Mind Exhibition

Hove Venue 14: 8 Bishops Road Ellis Sykes


The Mind Exhibition

May 2016

“The Mind and Mental health are very current issues in our society, mental health still being poorly diagnosed, poorly understood and greatly underestimated in severity as a health problem. Having experienced the traumatic affects of Mental Health both through close friends and family, I wished to illustrate the struggle of the invisible diseases often stigmatised by society, leaving sufferers to struggle with the illnesses alone.


Expression is vital within the composition of my work, as it allows for emotive messages to be communicated, creating a relationship between the artwork and viewer. This is an essential requirement of all illustrative pieces. I pair this with a selection of vibrant, intense colour schemes. I feel bold, vivid colours help to express particular emotions and draw attention to focal points of a composition. The study of psychedelic artwork taught me that contrasting colours create vibrations and thus a surreal impact within pieces. The colours I selected influence the theme of mental health by intrinsically affecting our minds, both by colour psychology and through colour theory and the effect of contrasting colours upon one another.


Depth, layering and negative space are all essential devices used to create the effect of space in three dimensions and the perception of suspension. The line used is both bold and flowing, the contour of the smoke organic to represent the explosion of mental activity and create drama within the piece.


The exhibition was created via sketching upon plywood, cutting the shapes out with a jigsaw, sanding the edges, and rendering each using a multimedia of wax, watercolour and coloured pencils. The translucency of the watercolours over the grain of the wood creates an ethereal effect. This paired with the suspended effect of the 3D layers creates the perception of floating. Transporting the viewer into a dreamlike, perceptible portrayal of the mind.”

Ellis Sykes


Twitter: @ellissykes_art


Instagram: @ellisykes_art