Amy Frost uses art as a coping mechanism for her epilepsy
Amy Frost, 25, has generalised epilepsy. She has been having seizures since she was 11 years old, but was diagnosed at 18. Here she explains how she started using art as a way to cope with her emotions associated with her epilepsy.
Before my diagnosis, my seizures were only asleep ones. For years the doctors thought I might have a sleep disorder. However, both myself and my family knew it was epilepsy.
Currently, my epilepsy is uncontrolled and I have asleep and awake tonic-clonic seizures.
It very much affects my everyday life, but I use my art as my therapy and it helps me massively. I now incorporate my experience with epilepsy into my artwork. Sharing my experience with others is comforting and hopefully lets other people know that they are not alone.
I am currently studying Fine Art at Bath Spa University and using art is still a coping mechanism for me today.
I believe that in a society where so many of us place emphasis on a 'perfect' canvas, whether within art or our appearances, I explore the freedom of expression using improvisation.
I use my body as my paintbrush and focus on my experience of connecting with large-scale canvasses to form a bond with my materials. I express emotions through gestures, colour and process. Process is very important to me, I view it as the artwork more than the final product.
Simple movements can express an emotion. I think witnessing this emotion puts the view in a different perspective of the final piece.
I have varied and diverse approaches to making art, including: performances, paintings and videos. The context of the work has an impact on the work's relationship to the viewer.
My current project "The In-Between", reflects this as it forces the viewer to interact with the piece and to be able to view it. The In-Between project consists of a selected collection of pieces created over the period of 2016-2018, created in the In-Between state of consciousness and unconsciousness, such as after an epileptic seizure, panic attack etc. These pieces and more are displayed together in a book, creating a constant exhibition.
You can view The In-Between on Amy's website: https://www.amyfrost.co.uk/theinbetween/
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Epilepsy Society.