Aubrey Higgin

The Room

The installation is designed to replicate my bedroom, which became a prison during my illness. The work focuses on entrapment and isolation – being closed off from the world. I was not strong enough to get out of bed. It was also a mental prison as my life had been put on hold. I had no idea when, or if, I would get better. The installation maps the journey through my illness as a timeline, showing the feelings and experiences from 12/01/2014 to 15/08/2016. I was bed-bound: fevers, injections, mental pain, these were my daily companions. The mental pain was by far the worst. Why me? What is this illness? Will I ever recover?

I experimented with an empty room, to signify feelings of isolation. In November, I displayed the rubbish and debris I had collected during this period. The room is created from used materials. This included my used pill containers, which I strung across the room as if to confront the visitor upon entry. I displayed letters from my medical appointments. I wrote and hung on the door a detailed three-page description of my journey. I exhibited graphic photographs of my symptoms on the walls and sketched my dreams and thoughts.

The brightness of the paintings outside portrays the complete contrast between the beautiful world outside and the world of isolation in which I found myself. I decided to graffiti my room using some of the most distressing comments linking the colours of the graffiti with the paintings outside. My poems focus on the recurring themes of worry, isolation, and physical and emotional pain.

I have brought multiple mediums together to create a powerful message where audio, visuals and literature combine.

The purpose of this project is to show others how isolation and despair are often more painful than the underlying symptoms, and can become a never-ending cycle that can be difficult to break.