Keilly Whittaker

Mixed Emotions

Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
101 x 47 cm

“This artwork began through the exploration of anxiety and my personal feelings. Using colour theory I decided to present the colours on my own face using paint; another way of looking into the phrase ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’. I wanted to create a portrait as these thoughts and anxieties I possess really circulate around my head and I wanted to bring this across in the work.

I also found that it looks almost like a mask covering the actual expression on the face, which is what anxiety can do, it can take over you. I decided to paint the portrait up front, confrontationally and on a large scale to dramatise the feelings I’m trying to portray. I feel like it is a vulnerable piece however this may be because I am the subject of the image. I wanted the conceptual aspect of the work to be relatable which I believe I have been able to capture.”