Donna Lawrence’s art is her weapon and her witness. In this solo exhibition, Lawrence’s 15-year struggle with fluctuating mental health is enacted through her confronting and cathartic paintings and drawings. The act of creating empowers her to give testimony, to calibrate her mental health, to seek assistance and to work towards recovery. Without her art, Lawrence feels she would have flailed in isolation.
While there is an essentially introspective component to Lawrence’s art, she often forces the viewer to self-examine with her probing, challenging visual language. This dichotomy makes Lawrence’s work particularly stimulating as it highlights a number of important issues relating to the individual in society, including stigma, individuality, power balances and psychiatric treatments.
The Dax Centre, Melbourne, June – October 2012