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In the Frame for August 2014: Figgy Fox’s ‘Welcome to My Psychosis’

This month's 'In the Frame' has been kindly contributed by work experience student, Dylan Davies. Thanks for your contribution, Dylan, and for all of your hard work!

Welcome to My Psychosis

Ldbth815 Welcome To My Psychosis C 1993 B

The painting “Welcome to My Psychosis” was painted by the artist Figgy Fox sometime between 1988 and 1998, and in 2011 was valued at £2000.

As the name suggests the picture shows the artist’s emotions, thoughts and feelings, and was painted during the time when the artist was a patient at the Bethlem. Figgy began painting at the Bethlem in 1987 at Stone House Psychiatric Hospital and began to use painting as a way to escape from the boredom of the hospital, however this desire to paint soon became a need, and Figgy was now recorded painting for up to twelve hours at a time. He believed the activity was helpful in his battle against alcohol and drug addictions, as well as depression. He painted many paintings during his stay, and said that the ideas for such paintings come as vision, or while he was asleep in the form of dreams and nightmares. Figgy believed it to be crucial to express these ideas, and said “When the dark thoughts of my illness invade my mind, it then becomes a necessity to put ideas onto paper in a bid to exorcise my mind.”

The painting itself shows a large amount of random images, the central image shows a pair of hands with eyes on them, possibly showing Figgy’s isolation, as he can watch events but cannot physically participate. To the left of this the crack skull may well show Figgy’s acceptance of his illness, as the skull is indeed injured. The stairs shown in the image could represent Figgy’s journey to recovery, or more generally the weight of living.