Em Farquhar-Barrie is a multi-disciplinary artist at Making Room Community Arts, an arts company which promotes radical inclusivity and the collaboration of diverse communities through the uniting force of art-making. Em’s recent focus is on watercolour painting as a means of self-expression and coping. In their art, they integrate their personal experiences of navigating mental health and trauma. With ongoing challenges of mental health, Em benefits from art as a therapeutic tool to explore and communicate experiences that otherwise go unnoticed. Em’s artistic practice has always been about sharing stories of suffering, strength, and survival.
“My complex neurology has always been a part of me. Like most imperfect humans, I often find it hard to know exactly how I am feeling. Fortunately, art has guided me through my journey and at times has saved me when nothing else could. I think artwork can be a significant part of the navigational process of locating ourselves within the spaces that we inhabit – and sometimes that space is our head. In addition to personal artwork acting as a form of therapeutic expression, I find that creating art can be important for the purpose of connecting and communicating with community, notably within large urban environments, that at times feels to be very isolating.”