Composure: Is an interrogation of our human toil with internalised anxieties as we withstand adverse impacts from multiple environments.
Composure explores the state of mind that drives us to declare a position of being where we are able to have impartial personality and go through life in split personalities to manipulate our environment. As human beings we have perfected the urgency to cope with our circumstances unveiling our deep ignorance and egos. As we thrive to create coping mechanism to withstand the effects of our environments, we tend to hold on to the illusions of temporal solutions. It’s that declaration and manipulation of self which grants us that sense of comfort yet having unbidden struggles within only to realise that its just a quick fix.
The external composure which we usually commend and admire as we navigate our day to day environments reveals deep seated fears within, fortifying of our alter egos, fronts, screens and ideals of wellness yet the internalised composure which gives us that feeling of “no condition is permanent” helps us withstand and become resilient. But the question remains whether or not we are truly what we claim. Are we indeed composed or we are only withstanding? Have we really managed or it’s that temporal feeling which postpones the actual state of mind? The works dwell on that space between withstanding and actual feelings wrapped in the fabric of bravery and strength. It’s a journey through the realities of conscious or unconscious adjustments and adaptations that decrease our tensions and anxiety in our environments.
Our ignorance as a people and society is revealed as we use composure as a means of navigation through our day to day lives without addressing our fears of true emotion. A continued response to every question about self with “I am fine!” even though we know we are only projecting an illusion of being fine have normalised this expression to an extent of emotional ducking out. Our being fine only translates the fears we cannot truly express and declare.
Composure as a practice interrogates our internalised emotions and connects our manipulative nature. In trying to withstand the evolution of our environments sometimes it moves way faster than we can cope. On the other hand there is some power in that declaration as we manipulate ourselves to become visible fine feeding our ego’s false illusion. We have conquered in wars and outsmarted many using that power to our own advantages. We have been decorated with medals and accolades of bravery using the same power which composure grants us. We only realise the impact post the occasion as we grapple with PTSD’s.
One would view composure as a form of a survival tool yet it’s a temporal fix which is indeed detrimental to our own well being as the internal impact only surfaces later and turns to be destructive to ourselves even though at face value it did look good when we were resilient to forces thrown at us. That sense of calm within a storm has its cost and that cost becomes the accelerator to mental health struggles.
The works explore that humanistic act we apply to our day to day lives which earn us the admiration and sense of pride within society yet breaking us down internally. The paintings count the cost of our image of strength against vulnerability. Leaving it all up to the individual’s later processing, all alone, as it bears greater social expectations which could harm a system which has built some of our greatest human achievements we pride ourselves with. There are those directly linked social forces, institutions and cultural values that sustain and contest them.