The Deep End


28 x 38 cm (11 x 15 inches)

(Larger sizes available on request).


Inks and mixed media with underprint on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm HP Watercolour paper.

Original handmade variant:

1 of 7




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I had an idea of what it was about, that turned out to be a simplistic one. It was a comment by a Facebook fan which got me thinking more deeply about what it might represent.

It’s a different camera angle on an older work, which had a very different meaning.

In her excellent (and possibly my favourite) book, ‘The God of Small Things’, Arundhati Roy (a truly exceptional human btw), describes incredibly well the process and effects of trauma on a small boy. When I read this book, I must set aside a whole day and read it in one. Without fail, it makes me laugh and weep and yearn and love.

The boy’s experience is just a small part of the beautiful tapestry woven by her words. But it is an important part.

After the trauma, he develops a mantra – his Two Thoughts:

‘Because Anything can Happen to Anyone,’ Estha said.
‘It’s Best to be Prepared’.


Preparedness is a state of mind and action that trauma has distorted within me to irrational levels and behavioral extremes. Like wearing a diving suit to tackle a kiddie-pool. Some would call it anxiety, others, procrastination – perhaps there is a clinical term for pathological over-preparedness. But it makes total sense to me that when we’ve suffered damage, we become both extremely cautious about preventing damage of any sort, and unable to distinguish between irrational and real threats. Untreated, unrecognized, and misunderstood, constant fear left me anxious, frozen, immobile, and overthinking every single damn thing.

I know it’s not just me that suffers this.

6 months ago, I could barely leave my flat. It would take hours, or days of anxious planning, procrastination, and list-making to even get out of the front door, and even then, the longest I could leave for was about 2 hours.

Showering took a day of planning. So did washing, writing an email, changing my clothes, brushing my teeth. Work became impossible.The only refuge I had was art. That just came, like a flood, and gave me a safe place to speak the thoughts I had no words for. And most importantly, it brought me to you. And you are showing me the compassion, and not shame must win out the critical inner monologue we battle daily.