Waiting for a sign – Art and Poetry By Charlotte Farhan

Waiting for a sign – By Charlotte Farhan

 


Waiting for a sign – By Charlotte Farhan

Signs are like spoken word
pictures form sentences
letters are transferred
meaning is given
through penmanship
or even when blurred
the beginning of us
the metaphor of genesis
or the theatre of the absurd.

When waiting for a sign
one knows what to look for
the mind conjures meaning
without knowing or seeing
which is hard to ignore
constructed from nothing
like an imaginary being
or with warnings
such as folklore.

Stabilise the interpretations
surrounding images with words
linguistic messages
can appear as
two lonely song birds
harmonious relations
between sight and sound
so that signs
can be undeterred
in our expectations
of communications
when unheard.

 


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Impairment of Autonomy – Art and Poetry By Charlotte Farhan

Impairment of Autonomy - by Charlotte Farhan

Impairment of Autonomy – by Charlotte Farhan


Impairment of Autonomy – by Charlotte Farhan

 

Is my mind my own

is it attached or detached

or am I simply a drone,

a body mismatched,

it feels like thought control,

a disturbance in beliefs,

torturous to my soul,

this pondering brings no relief.

Is my autonomy met with rationality,

does the honey bee blame the seasons,

does rain have any morality,

is it our brain which insists on reason,

are these rules totalitarian,

or am free to have objections,

this could be sectarian,

I am left with so many questions.

Feeling a pull within,

a whisper from nowhere,

a foreign body built in,

keeping me unaware,

is independence possible,

or is my autonomy impaired,

the shredding of self is unstoppable,

obeying the demands declared.


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Proud to Announce my New Art Residency at OTV Magazine

 

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Here is what OTV had to say about me and my new position on the team…

Open Thought Vortex is happy to announce Charlotte Farhan as our Artist-in-Residence for the summer of 2016. Charlotte is internationally recognized as an artistic ally. She runs the non-profit Art Saves Lives International Magazine which seeks out and promotes artists whose work raises awareness for such topics as mental health, domestic violence and survival.

Charlotte works tirelessly to expose the underbelly of the ableist hierarchy both through ASLI and through her own art which chronicles her survival of abuse and assault. Like our previous OTV Artist-in-Residence Aaminah Shakur, Charlotte’s art is expressed through multiple mediums. Her path to wellness is paved with paintings and her writing and art have opened doors for hundreds of others worldwide to speak up about their own survival.

We are very proud to have Charlotte as a member of the OTV team. We look forward to showcasing her talent and collaborating with her on projects that serve the overlapping missions of Open Thought Vortex and Art Saves Lives International.

OTV was created by Shareen Mansfield who is founder and publisher and Shawna Ayoub Ainslie who is co-founder and editor in chief.


As well as artist in residence at OTV, I am also a regular contributor as a feature writer.

Here are my latest articles:

As A Victim I Survived – By Charlotte Farhan

How Art Brings Me Joy – By Charlotte Farhan


And here are my two accompanying art pieces for these articles…

As A Victim I Survived - By Charlotte Farhan

As A Victim I Survived – By Charlotte Farhan

otv Laughter by Charlotte Farhan

Laughter by Charlotte Farhan

Please visit Open Thought Vortex (OTV) Magazine and subscribe by clicking HERE

OTV Art and Joy quote Charlotte Farhan

 

Art and Poetry – Alien Woman by Charlotte Farhan

By Charlotte Farhan


Alien Woman by Charlotte Farhan

She was thought to be different from an early age,
no one understood her language or seclusion.
Being made to witness their madness on a rampage,
their sadness transparent – was she the intrusion?

When looking up at the stars she could see her home,
the planet she was created on – was so far from here.
Abandoned, dropped in a deep-sea of monochrome,
swimming to the ragged shore – a reluctant sightseer.

A heart larger than most – with beats like a bass drum,
She fights the worlds battles – a leader with forlorn hope.
Her voice soothes you – allowing you to overcome,
Eyes so open they see like the Hubble Telescope,

As an alien she lives amongst us in vibrant blues,
she disguises herself as she waits in purgatory.
Her hope is to free this earth of beliefs disabused,
Your life is fragile – never forget; memento mori.


If you have any questions on my work, if you wish for me to exhibit in your gallery or would like to purchase a piece , please contact me via the form below, thank you.

Why I stopped selling my art for a year and the commercial suffocation which killed my creativity

Just over a year ago I decided to take down all my art for sale on my website and removed my art from galleries. This was not due to not selling work or a moody tantrum, this was in fact thought out over some time, which was needed as my mind was riddled with questions such as “will this sell” and “is this going to be popular with customers and collectors”. The part of me which was now in charge of my creativity was also doing mental spreadsheets and customer surveys.

The Broken Willow - By Charlotte Farhan

The Broken Willow – By Charlotte Farhan

Now I am not saying this is not a way to sell art, as there are many successful commercial artists who take to art as they would any business. However this is not for me, I am not driven by money and my philosophy is very anti-capitalistic and personally I dislike any art which is made in the hope of selling for obscene amounts of cash.

The arts have been growing more elitist and individualistic since the 20th century, which historian Walter Benjamin called “The Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” The commodity of art and creativity is now a marketable idea and product to be sold on mass, even though the world we live in is in no way accommodating to the life of an artist, unless you are the lucky few (which is mainly white, middle/upper class men) then you can not replicate the same success as any outlet which churns out art prints of generic tastes to be sold at your local department store. Visual art is taken for granted in our world, imagine the world without it? Removing these visuals from our surroundings would be an extreme shock to our senses, yet we do not value it enough. Art becomes a throw away item, something you donate or sell at a carboot sale or even toss in a skip.

Emotions Take Over - By Charlotte Farhan

Emotions Take Over – By Charlotte Farhan

My husband and I are by no means rich, we are actually under the living wage by quite a bit in the UK, which is why the pressure arises in me at the idea that the only thing I can do well and do from home due to my disabilities was not going to feed us or house us on a regular basis – making me believe that myself and my art were worthless. Which left me hollow and without purpose, so as with everything in my life, this became a question of survival.

Tackling mental illness, sexual violence, capitalism, war and being an outsider artist in general meant that automatically my work would not be considered commercial or be the kind of art that the general population wish to put in their living rooms. Nonetheless this is not of any concern of mine, as the artist my purpose is to create, the rest is not up to me. Over this year many of my followers and fans have asked to buy my art or asked where my art is on sale, but still I did not give in. The journey was not over as I still could hear the faint voice of capitalism whispering in my ear.

With this in mind the idea of selling art became something which actually started to terrify me, the thought that if I started again the muse would leap from my mind, with nothing left to nourish me. So I continued on my quest for my cathartic creativity. Which is what led me to reexamine my roots in art – the reason I had begun and the reason it had saved me from hurting myself for so many years. I remembered painting and drawing as a child when my world was falling apart around me, with no adults to guide me; my art was a comfort and allowed me to express feeling which my young brain could not process with language. Furthermore art therapy had saved me when I was in psychiatric hospitals or therapy, never did I think of “selling art” at these moments, there were no thoughts just creativity exploding from me in every direction with a “fuck you” attitude to match.

Then I thought of the other experiences with art which had suffocated me and led me to become silent. Such as secondary school when my teacher decided her and I had a “personality clash” and that I was just a disobedient child who would not concentrate on the topics at hand. Which is hard for me for many reasons. In class a blank piece of paper would be set down for me, with an objective given, such as to draw a still life of some sort – my mind could not confine itself to the simple still life set out before me, other things would appear in my vision and these would have to be incorporated, different colours emerged which others did not see. Which is what drove my art teacher mad, she would get so angry at me and I just could not understand? This was my best and favourite subject and my way of communicating but it was shut down and I stopped trying and taking part.

My Burial - By Charlotte Farhan

My Burial – By Charlotte Farhan

When later in life I decided to go to art college at 17, having only been out of hospital a short while, the intensity of my emotions and coming from an art therapy environment did not merge well within the confines of academic art. This time I had learnt from previous experiences that my voice was too loud or too raw and with the social pressures of adolescents, which made me want to conform so as to be seen as “normal” and not the crazy girl, I simply muted myself and my creative voice. Which meant yet again the teachers found me difficult, leading me to leave after a year.

With this retrospective, the mission was clear and simple; my work needed to come from the place which has been unheard and abandoned for so long. It is not pretty or comfortable, but it is my genuine voice and my message to the world – with the aim of helping others who like me have been pushed down and silenced.  During my year off from the headache that is consumerism, my mind was able to redevelop the meaning behind my journey as an artist. It is true that for me the message in my work is far more important to me than if it is “sellable”, which meant that finding my voice was the most important aspect for my exploration thus far.

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Now I am ready to sell my work again and put my work back in galleries, Knowing that the selling is a bonus and the galleries allow my art to be seen and my message to heard by more people. There is now no whispers asking me consumerist questions and there is no compromise to my philosophy. Now I am secure with my art and purpose which means my muse has returned.

If you ever find yourself in this predicament as an artist (of any discipline) then I would recommend a similar period of time away from the suffocation that is our capitalist, consumer driven world, find your roots in your work, work towards your purpose and do not compromise this for anything.

ASLI QUOTE

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A Chance to Win a FREE Original Painting by Charlotte Farhan

Art by Charlotte Farhan

To thank you all for the amazing support this year I am offering you all a chance to win an original painting by me!

These paintings are from some of my most popular collections and have been exhibited in galleries many times. Now you can own one for FREE if you take part in the special CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!

5 Winners
5 Paintings

For a chance to win one of these 5 paintings all you have to do is take a look at the paintings below, choose your favourite, fill in the contact form below and share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

The winners will be picked at random and will receive the painting they chose as their favourite when filling out the form and will be contacted via email  within 24hrs of the winners being announced on Monday the 21st of December 2015.

THE GIVEAWAY IS OPEN WORLDWIDE!

You can also enter the competition and find terms and conditions for this giveaway by following this link ——> http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f29248811/?

Dont forget to share this with your friends and family.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Artist Charlotte Farhan

Artist Charlotte Farhan
Makeup and photography by Lisa Reeve

 

PTSD AWARENESS ART – Pain and Detachment – By Charlotte Farhan​

Pain and Detachment – By Charlotte Farhan​

Pain and Detachment - By Charlotte Farhan

The pain from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) infects the mind like poisonous thorns and then to alleviate the suffering the mind detaches into a dissociative state. Leaving reality and separating me from the real world.

The PTSD I suffer with is due to childhood abuse from a family member and is also due to being raped at 15 violently.

PTSD is often only associated with war veterans, but many other traumatic events can cause this. Rape, sexual violence and domestic violence victims are a very high percentage of sufferers.

ptsd-for-primary-care-providers-under-the-new-dsm-8-638

Some Facts on Rape

 “Globally, about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. About 44 per cent of all UK women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old. Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused.”

“1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

“The most recent UK government statistics estimated about 78,000 people in the UK have become rape or attempted rape victims, and about 9,000 are men. Research suggests that the notoriously low report rate is particularly true among male victims. About 1,250 incidents of male-victim rape were reported to the police in 2011-2012.”

“The year in a male’s life when he is most likely to be the victim of a sexual assault is age 4. A female’s year of greatest risk is age 14.”

“Approximately 4/5 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.”

For more info visit RAINN and Rape Crisis England and Wales

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If you have PTSD or suspect you have find out more here and how to get help.

Quote by Artist Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in this artwork for your collection, for an exhibition, charity event or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

 

I Ripped out my Heart – By Charlotte Farhan – Art and Poetry

I Ripped out my Heart – By Charlotte Farhan

 

I Ripped out my Heart - By Charlotte Farhan

I Ripped out my Heart – By Charlotte Farhan

I couldn’t feel anything today,

not one feeling was felt,

shadows of the world like ghosts,

haunted memories locked in,

set to continuously replay.

Desolation in my mind created an echoing sound,

my thoughts rattled in my head like pennies in a box,

my emotions running like deer on a hunting ground.

I slowly began to itch the itch,

the one burrowing into my thorax,

the one which seemed neverending like a bottomless ditch.

Ripping into my torso,

hacking at my ribs as if they were a rotten enclosure.

I started to pick away at my flesh,

trying to get to the prickling feeling deep inside,

pulling up my lungs as if they were a bloody mesh.

My chest felt tight and the constrictions of my rib cage felt like a prison,

All my thoughts turned to the release I would feel if I just reached inside,

my blood is beautifully glistening the purest crimson.

Soon I heard it,

the deep thumping of my heart,

burrowing deeper my hand suddenly felt it,

pulsating in my grip.

The feeling is like none experienced before,

the more I squeezed the better it felt,

as if I were the captor and it my prisoner of war.

Wanting to never lose this awareness of self,

never wanting to abandon my own heart,

like so many had done before,

debasing me and tearing me apart.

I started to slowly haul it out of my cavity,

the ripping was glorious,

the pain was euphoric,

lost in depravity.

Eventually I was left with my heart in my hand,

as it beat its last beat,

the emptiness returned and the emotions stopped,

holding my heart closer,

I began to deplete.

Just me and my heart,

together at last,

no longer spare parts.

Never letting it go,

never losing my grip,

seeing myself lying below,

the nothingness began again,

the waves of time smashed me into unconsciousness,

I became an abandoned ship.

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan

From the painting Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in these artworks for your collection, for an exhibition or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

 

Art Spotlight – Agoraphobia – by Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

 

Living with agoraphobia is like being a caged animal who fears its capture and environment. My mind passes back and forth and my panic increases with everyday that passes. Daily events round the world confirm the need to be locked away, for my own safety and sometimes others. On occasion certain parts of my mind wish to escape the confinement the agoraphobia has created, parts of my other illnesses such as my borderline personality disorder and psychotic depression bash their metaphorical heads against the bars of my prison. This illness is the child of my post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from trauma comes anxiety and this ultimately changed my entire behaviour and personality.

 

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

 

We have long observed that every neurosis has the result, and therefore probably the purpose, of forcing the patient out of real life, of alienating him from actuality.

(Sigmund Freud)

 

If you are interested in this painting for your collection, for an exhibition or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

Read about my struggles with agoraphobia and share them with a friend, help me raise awareness and end stigma toward mental illness.

The Agoraphobic Artist – My Story

The Agoraphobic Artist – How I live in the captivity of my mind

 

 

Art Spotlight – Female War – By Charlotte Farhan

Female War – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Female War - By Charlotte Farhan Acrylic On Boxed Canvas 10" X 12" X 1"

Female War – By Charlotte Farhan
Acrylic On Boxed Canvas 10″ X 12″ X 1″

 

This Depicts The Want For Freedom For Women.

From The Rigid Gender Roles That Society Has Imposed Upon Us.
Our Gender System Has Created Oppression And The Female War Has A Mission To Overthrow This System By Any Possible Means.

We Believe That We Must Wage A War Against Patriarchy And The Gender System Which Confines Us To These Rigid Social Roles.
The Domination Of Women Is The Oldest And Worst Kind Of Oppression In The World. This Is Because It Spans Across The World Oppressing Women Of Different Races, Ethnicity, Classes And Culture.

 

Female War - By Charlotte Farhan

Female War – By Charlotte Farhan

 

“As Anarchism Is A Political Philosophy That Opposes All Relationships Of Power, It Is Inherently Feminist”

(L. Susan Brown)

 

If you are interested in this painting for your collection, for an exhibition or would like to buy a print, please use the form below: