Project Description

Healthy Obsession

by Nikki Devereux | 04.02.21

I’ve been pondering the question, “what is a healthy amount of obsession?” My mind tends to be overactive at night (and sometimes during the day), and I sometimes dwell on things and overthink them. This is especially true of my art projects, and of any creative work that I do. For my current project, obsession is actually the point. Each piece is possessed with hours and hours of thought, arrangement, decision-making. I’ve allowed myself to obsess over these pieces. In a way, I’ve given myself permission to think something through and through to the point of turning it inside out. I don’t think it’s unhealthy. In fact, because of so much intention being placed on these works and the constant thought of them, I have developed ways to make them completely sustainable.

Very little of the material I use is taking from the Earth. The magazines are passed on to me, the gold leaf paint was given to me from someone else’s collection, even the water is from my shower as I’m heating up the water. My cradled wood canvases are either reused from other projects or leftover from previous projects. Once I’ve used those up, I’ll use scrap plywood that we have laying around the garage. I have scraps of fabric, string, and thread from other projects or from samples that were given to me and are now useless except as mixed media materials.

The making of the pieces isn’t the only thing I’ve dwelled on. I started to imagine that the geometric shapes I’m using are symbols, like crop circles or glyphs from another planet. Then I wondered if I’m sending myself a message subconsciously, or what if a message is coming through me? Whether you believe in the supernatural or the possibility of an alien presence, it’s cool to think about that. Either way, I noticed a pattern in placement and shape, so I started cataloguing the symbols.

As I was cataloguing symbols and trying to decipher what it all means, I realized that the shapes I’m using and the atmosphere I’m creating is reminiscent of another project I started working on exactly 10 years ago. I remember as I was formulating the idea and creating based on this theme, that it didn’t feel quite like I was doing the theme justice. It was missing something. What? I did not know. Until now. It feels as if I’ve somehow come full circle to complete a project that I left for myself a decade ago. The past me and the future me are working together now.

I’m wrapping myself tightly in this project, and I love every moment.