Outsider Art and Poetry – Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to the Past - By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to my past like a prisoner, with only sorrow to comfort me,
at night the mattress swallows me whole, it becomes pitch black,
let me escape this anguish, this nectarous misery – let me be free,
my torment clenches me tight with gripped arms – holding me back.

Recollection chokes me with the thought of violence,
memories leave me for dead, crying for liberation,
no ability to speak up – I offer silence,
chains are pulled tighter constricting me in my damnation.

Punishment is not a fetish when it is kept unseen,
my head is pulsating, the pressure is mounting in my veins,
steel and blood mixed with sheets I am always unclean,
whose hands are those, the ones holding my chains?


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.

 

Outsider Art – Unlocked by Charlotte Farhan

Unlocked - By Charlotte Farhan

Unlocked – By Charlotte Farhan

Unlocked – By Charlotte Farhan

A pressure builds inside my head like a boiling liquid,
spilling out of me, the security lock has been breached.
The fear that anything could escape – this is unscripted,
witnessing my life – my credibility is impeached.


This illustration is of my inner turmoil spilling from my mind, when experiencing a locked in state from flash backs and psychosis as a result of having complex post traumatic stress disorder and psychotic depression.

As I get older the locked safe where my darkest thoughts and memories have been kept, since being very young; has started to erode with time. Rusty and old, the hinges are no longer able to hold it all in.

Since starting reliving therapy in 2014 there have been many disturbances to my treatment, such as the NHS only being able to offer 6 weeks and then leaving me worse than before, opened up and dumped.

Then last year I found a therapist which was able to offer a reduced fee (as we are on such a low income) all was going well, even though it was soul-destroying and painful and made me cry in those 6 sessions more than I ever had. Still it was a process and felt as if maybe I would be able to deal with the trauma of my rape and sexual abuse as well as all the other issues which had developed as a consequence. However this was not to be the case, due to my borderline personality disorder I ended up splitting my therapist in my mind and however much I tried, this could not be changed. From thinking “she is my saviour” to “she is trying to kill me”, which then led me to become dangerously suicidal. So having no real choice, the therapeutic relationship had to be terminated.

So I am left unlocked and wide open…


 

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.

Art Spotlight – Vulnerability

Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

Vulnerability - By Charlotte Farhan

Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

This piece of art represents the cognitive vulnerability of abandonment in early childhood.

The figure is genderless and ageless, almost fetus like, with an adult sized body; however retaining a childlike energy conveyed by the rough scribbles and marks made around the figure.

The colours remain playful, yet remind me of a false sense of safety and the forced love which was present in my visual world as a child.

The coarse oranges, cold blues and gender repressing pinks all mixed in with the greyness of the 1980s.

Reminding me of my plastic toys which were my main source of comfort as well as the adult world I was fully submerged in where I was a plaything, a doll or an inconvenience.

The cold as stone faces became distorted shapes and the words which hurt my childlike naivety (which should not have been heard) felt like tiny knives piercing my thin emotional skin.

Vulnerability - By Charlotte Farhan

Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

This piece of art was created on emotional impulse.

A way to express myself through this period of time where I am exploring my childhood in hope of aiding my recovery and management of my mental illnesses.

A way to raise awareness, to allow for a visual representation to be seen by others.

I know I am not alone in this experience.

I would like to invite you as a reader of this to share any kind of creativity you choose to express yourself through. Contact me or visit my nonprofit Art Saves Lives International and send us a submission and we will share your expressions with others, with the hope of us all using creative outlets to communicate difficult and important subjects.

ART CREATES CHANGE!

ART CAN HEAL!

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:

 

 

 

Art Spotlight – The Nightmares Remain – By Charlotte Farhan

The Nightmares Remain – By Charlotte Farhan

The Nightmares Remain - By Charlotte Farhan

The Nightmares Remain – By Charlotte Farhan

When entering sleep it is never at will, fighting the urge and prolonging the inevitable, suddenly the darkness comes.

Soon I am in an alternate universe, a different portal within myself, a place filled with creations from my mind, memories dissected and poorly sewn back together.

The walls begin to bleed, blood engulfs me and I cannot breathe, swept under the bloody waves I take my last breath.

This dark world has taken me now, leaving me to relive the nightmare everyday.

The Nightmares Remain - By Charlotte Farhan

The Nightmares Remain – By Charlotte Farhan

 

“My sleep wasn’t peaceful, though. I have the sense of emerging from a world of dark, haunted places where I traveled alone.”
― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

 

The Nightmares Remain - By Charlotte Farhan

The Nightmares Remain – By Charlotte Farhan

 

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:

 

 

 

 

 

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:

 

The Artist and her Cats – Painting our Feline Friends

Charlotte Farhan and Logan

Charlotte Farhan and Logan

Cats have been of extreme importance to me throughout my life of 31 years. Having reared kittens, rescued cats and met many along my journey, these majestic and complicated feline friends are to me more than beautiful creature but are inspiring and have become my best friends and even family.

I decided to start painting cats when I realised how important they were to my artistic process. My three cat progenies who my husband and I treat as our offspring (not as human babies) but as the wonderful species that they are, are called Omar (our 10 year old moggy), Isabella (our 8 year old Burmese) and our youngest Logan (a 5 year old Bengal).

They rush to greet us as we arrive home, they speak to us in a language which we have adapted to best understand one another, they are attached to us as we are them and require constant attention and care, which we are more than happy to give. We feel privileged to share our lives with our fury brood and at times when I am unable to leave my home or am so overwhelmed by sadness or trauma my phenomenal little ones comfort me and lick my tears away.

So I shall continue to honour the species I feel akin to by painting them and creating lasting impressions of them.

Here is my latest called “Lucy Loves Laziness”

Lucy was my Mothers cat when I was little, she was a wise cat, full of neurosis, who did not particularly like me, but I shall always remember her curled up in the flower beds, whilst keeping a watch out for small insects to eat.

Lucy Loves Laziness - By Charlotte Farhan

Lucy Loves Laziness – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Lucy Loves Laziness - By Charlotte Farhan

Lucy Loves Laziness – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Lucy Loves Laziness - By Charlotte Farhan

Lucy Loves Laziness – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Here is a look at the other cat portraits in my collection, most have been sold, prints available and greeting cards coming soon.

Cat Portraits By Charlotte Farhan

Cat Portraits By Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in one of these or have a feline friend you wish me to do a portrait of please fill in the form below for further details.

Original paintings cost £55.00

Prints cost £25.00

Commissioned Cat Portraits cost £45.00

All images are 10″ x 12″ x 1″ and are on box canvas or high quality printing paper.

And here are our 3 beautiful family members:

Thank you for visiting…

The devil finds work for idle hands – Painting to Escape Negative Thoughts

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In the past 2 weeks I experienced a relapse and have been struggling with day to day life. Being so overwhelmed by emotion, feeling unable to move or speak. My ability to self analyse had gone, my perspective skewed and my continuous questioning of reality was a preoccupation.

Hiding Beneath the Flowers - By Charlotte Farhan

Hiding Beneath the Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan

Unable to take my own advice and “paint my feelings”, not able to put pen to paper to explore the thoughts swimming around my head. So I lay there watching time do its thing, with every tick tock acting as a reminder of my own failings and stagnant mood.

Isabella No2 - By Charlotte Farhan

Isabella No2 – By Charlotte Farhan

So  a few days ago I slowly moved towards my paint brushes… Inspecting paints, finding colours and tools, making sure I did not invest too much energy for the  fear of disappointment.

Isabella No3 - By Charlotte Farhan

Isabella No3 – By Charlotte Farhan

A blank canvas stared up toward me? Begging me to surrender myself, asking me a million questions at once.  The void of white seemed oppressive and scared me back into submission.

I decided to go to my art room and look through my paintings in search of a connection to something,  which I felt had seemed to have been lost. However I did not get to do this as I was distracted by a stack of unfinished paintings. Looking sad and abandoned, five paintings waiting to be brought to life but like me were stuck.

The Poetry of Flowers - By Charlotte Farhan

The Poetry of Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan

 So I bundle the paintings into my arms and scurried towards my sofa, I got water and a large palette on the way. Managing to create a fort of warmth was my only real concern on such a frosty January night, determined I got the biggest blanket I could find (that I did not mind splashing paint on, as this was an inevitability with me) and I arranged the cushions into a area of ease and comfort.

Then in pure bliss I began to paint, not with any particular emotion but more a sense of ease and fluidity. I found that by concentrating on the colours and strokes of the brush I was “in the moment” being mindful and able to focus on everything I was doing as if I were in a trance or meditative state. As I was working on 5 paintings at once I did not even get to break my concentration as I had organised myself into a conveyer belt of art, continuously creating…

Omar No2 - By Charlotte Farhan

Omar No2 – By Charlotte Farhan

This is not always a possibility with my conditions but when it is there is this feeling that I am complete when creating art. As well as reaffirming that there is meaning in the action and doing of art. In the application of creativity you can arrive to conclusions and acquire clarity without any of this being involved in the image you create. This session which I managed to self medicate with in my hour of need was cathartic, the reality I was so unsure of became less important and the moments of focused clarity became the ideal and the goal which my mind has set its sights on.

My advice to everyone is that in order to silence the negative thoughts you must become proactive. Allowing the intrusive thoughts to swallow you whole will only lead to an immobile mind and body. This is not to be confused with the “autopilot” mind set, this does not lead to clarity and release, in fact it can be even more dangerous as it allows the mind to go through the motions without any awareness. Which some may argue sounds wonderful, but it gets you no where.

This is not a post to tell you all your problems can be fixed by art or painting specifically. This post is to tell you, I am struggling with it all, life in general but I am a fighter and sometimes a begrudging survivor but one all the same. There is no option but to keep going against the odds and for me sometimes picking up my paintbrush is all I can do to survive these cruel mental fragilities.

Here are the 5 paintings…

 

If interested in my art please visit my official website

Charlotte Farhan Art

Thank you for visiting

xxx

creative-minds

A New Beginning – let us paint our blank canvas of 2015

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“Sometimes the only way to move forward from a traumatic past is to paint a new future” Charlotte Farhan http://www.charlottefarhanart.com

So it is a new year and with this comes the assumption of an internal reset button which one can press and start again.  As far as notions go this is not a bad one if approached correctly with a positive attitude and an openness to whatever lays ahead.

I do not make resolutions as this kind of fait accompli put upon oneself is a recipe for disaster and failure. It does not allow for the mystery of the upcoming 12 months and what life has planned. So instead I set goals which do not have to be finished by 2016 but have to be started in 2015. I move forward with dreams and ambitions and make sure I do at least one thing I have never accomplished before. You may think I am just rewriting the new year resolution mantra and that it is not much different, however the difference is  I do not “expect” things from myself, instead I imagine my future and am lead by my dreams and encouraged by my fears.

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Last year was great. I became a published illustrator with The Wishing Machine which I am very proud of. Also I had 2 exhibitions one in Portsmouth and one in London, after 2013 I decided I would take a step back from exhibitions and concentrate on new collections. Myself and Sadie Kaye decided to take over the old ART SAVES LIVES and renamed it ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL. This meant I was Artistic Director and Co-Founder with Sadie.

 

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The Wishing Machine – by Sadie Kaye

 

 

I also joined forces with the talented Lisa Reeve and we are working together on a new book, a new online boutique selling handmade and recycled items as well as art from ourselves and selected artisans.

Charlotte Farhan and Lisa Reeve

Charlotte Farhan and Lisa Reeve

In late 2014 ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL was handed over to me and I became Managing Director along with my husband Mohammed Farhan and Lisa Reeve. Sadie Kaye remains Artistic Director but has taken a small step back whilst she concentrates on many other personal projects as well as her beautiful expanding family. We have decided to reinvent ASLI, with a new mission and plan. With ASLI set to become a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in early 2015 and already with a calendar booked up with exciting events, we are excited with our new venture.

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NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH on the 6th of January – http://www.artsaveslivesinternational.com

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This brings me back to my new beginning…

My plan for 2015 is to move forward and allow for my dreams to get even BIGGER!!

So with this in mind I better get started. No time to waste!

 

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Art to end the Silence on Rape – by artist Charlotte Farhan

Art to end the Silence on Rape

Since receiving reliving trauma therapy for PTSD my mind has swollen and over-spilled with flashbacks and night-terrors. This intensive therapy has hurt like a thousand knives piercing my brain and heart, but with all intensive therapies it gets worse before there is any relief. I have yet to feel any deliverance.

The word ‘rape’ used to be an utterance I was unable to speak or think, the mere mention or thought of the word, would send me into a detached state, a complete shutdown and the escapist inside found a way of entering a safe place which was more like a dream world.

It took me 10 years to confront the word, not the act, just that word ‘RAPE’.

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I had now accepted the word and what it meant for my continued existence, however I still can not truly accepted what has happened to me.

I still go over and over the incident, although the voice of society bullies my mind and the disbelievers ring in my ears. Telling me “but you fancied him? How could you not have wanted it?” and “But you are crazy, why would we believe you?” 

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Everything you could think of was used against me; my clothes, my mental health, home life and how well I knew my rapist were all used to justify what happened to me and I felt blamed, confused and as if I was deserving of it all.

Even after internal and external surgery caused by the rape, it was still said “she is so crazy she probably did the injuries to herself”.

The doctors, surgeons, police and mental health team all believed me and repeatedly told me it was not my fault and that the damage was clearly from forced intercourse and the bruises and marks were conclusive of restraint marks, but they were unable to undo centuries of victim blaming and misconceptions about rape, the world around me was singing from a different hymn sheet and I could not hear their support over the louder voice, saying “you were asking for it”.

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The person who I needed to believe me was not my friends, family or even society, it was in fact me!

I only managed to do this, this year and strangely enough it was exactly 15  years since that day. Through reliving the rape in my therapy I was able to separate myself and all the other voices and see the truth. Although it was a relief to finally say to my 15 year old self “I believe you”, it felt as if it had just happened and felt more real than ever.

I am still struggling and receiving treatment. But as a survivor I decided to speak my truth, to be part of the change and help others like myself. 

OMGOSH thats is true

As an artist I have decided to raise awareness and help end the silence.

Here is one of my first pieces from this collection, which is accompanied by a poem.

Chained By Charlotte Farhan

Chained By Charlotte Farhan

Chained – By Charlotte Farhan

I was chained by my fear, after you held me down.

I was chained by your force, when my life was turned upside down.

I was chained by peers and the social pressure to conform, with not wanting to be different or to cause a storm.

I was chained by my clothing, which was used against me, as well as my self loathing.

I was chained by the trauma, which haunts me to this day and the wish for life to serve you your karma will never go away.

I was chained by you, by them, by me.
Chained by the idea that “I was asking for it”
I am still chained and wish to be free.

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Thank you for reading.

Please share this post, be part of the change yourself. 

At this present time I am working on an exhibition of art, sculptures and a book to accompany this project, to share my story, my suffering and my survival as well as highlighting rape culture in our society on a global scale.

Please help me in my campaign and like my Facebook page:

No Excuses – Sexual Violence Must End

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For further advice and support :

Rape Crisis UK

Get Connected – Rape Support

RAINN | Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network