Su Devine, a master’s student in visual practice at the university, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a work-related incident in 2017, and mental health is a central theme of her work.
Her latest exhibition, “Curios of the Mind”, was inspired by her love of curiosity shops as well as her passion for mental health awareness.
The 51-year-old said: “My exhibition deals with various mental health conditions and I have tried to express how some of them feel for the suffering.
“I chose a curiosity shop as a way of exhibiting because I like to look around and look at all the weird little items you find in them. Because my work is so diverse, it made sense to display pieces, from paintings to small objects.
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“There’s one particular piece that represents my PTSD and how full my mind is all the time.” It shows how my inner voice works over time. I decided to use metal for it because it’s a physically strong material, so it shows the power of my bad thoughts. “
After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, Su did not leave the house for many months, and even now she may have difficulty going out alone. However, she feels that university studies have played an important role in her therapy.
She added: “When I paint or work on a statue, it is what fills my mind and finally drives away all my negative thoughts.”
Professor Kevin Petrie, head of the School of Art and Design at the University of Sunderland, who officially opened Suina’s exhibition, said: It includes doll heads, anatomical models, paintings and dresses with a concrete layer.
“Now it’s great to see these elements combined in a completely immersive environment. This is interesting and disturbing at the same time. You can’t miss this show and I think it will take a few visits to really receive it. “