The inescapable reality of fatigue
Sofie Layton worked with two small groups of Stroke Survivors over five months during lockdown to explore what post-stroke fatigue feels like to each individual. The narratives expressed in the workshops inspired the subsequent artworks. These workshops were conducted online and facilitated by Sofie Layton and Sian Aggett.
Each participant was given a piece of clay and asked to create a portrait of themselves with their eyes closed. The participants had 15 minutes to form their models and try to imagine their bodies and how their body feels post-stroke. These 3 examples show how differently participants approached the exercise. One person said, that they felt discombobulated and the balls represent themselves slowly being pieced back together. This was the the only face-to-face workshop that happened during the ENSNARED development.
Each participant received a tool kit in the post along with a series of Aluminium plates which had been screen printed with an MRI image of a cross section of a brain. We explored the techniques of embossing and used prompts from creative writing exercises to develop the imagery from. If fatigue was an animal... or a colour... or a sound …
Print and Embroidery
As a part of the online workshop process, the participants were invited to explore the reality of fatigue as a series of writing exercises. Surprisingly, when asked to describe their fatigue as a colour some individuals talked about how it was a visceral shocking neon colour and not the grey lifeless colour, which is more commonly associated with fatigue. A few individuals then chose to create embrodered brains and worked in the colours of these pieces.
Embossing, Print and Embroidery
The embossings, embroideries and narrative statements were then brought together and designed to become a series of three collective ‘samplers’, holding the contributions of everyone in the project. The fatigue narratives were screen printed on a backing cloth and interwoven with the embossings and embroideries.