It’s easy to assume everyone can effortlessly say how they feel – which it can be, it can be straightforward to express happiness, sadness or anger but to describe how you feel and express it in a way that helps you process those emotions is what can be challenging.

This got me thinking about ways I could express myself in a manner that is easy to verbalise and for others to understand. Illustration has always interested me – telling stories through drawings without the challenges of trying to decipher concepts that exist within the work. Illustration is straight forward, to the point, it shows you what the image is trying to say without the viewer having to decode the meaning.

“Wunderkammer” is a term I found whilst reading ‘Ways of Curating’ by Hans Ulrich Obrist. It’s described as a curiosity cabinet, a collection of objects. This term was in regards to physical objects but it got me thinking about whether or not I could use the concept of the word within my illustrations – instead of a collection of objects could my realisation of “Wunderkammer” be a collection of thoughts, emotions and words. A conceptual cabinet expressed through a character within my drawings.

These ideas kicked off the initial drawings that then lead into creating a character in which I could express my thoughts. In conversation with a friend after a breakup I was struggling for ways to describe how I felt. I then came up jokingly with “I feel like an onion with three layers removed” – exposed, shred raw and vulnerable, like an onion that has started to be peeled. From then on all of the illustrations I created featured the Onion character, it was a medium for me to express my words and thoughts I hadn’t been able to convey before.

The Onion series is an illustrative collection of thoughts and words that I will be developing in time for the Southsea Green Exhibition in July 2019.

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