"Vulnerability" 16x20". Copyright Gillian Keller 2018
The soul is not invisible.
It is a spectrum of surging electricity, a conduit flowing within and without, merging with all, effortlessly, all the time, all at once.
A swell of sound, a swooning inner wound. A discovery of the beauty found in pain, an investigation into the pain found in beauty.
My new self portraiture is a vulnerable expression of my inner and outer worlds.
I live with bipolar disorder, an illness which, sometimes ungracefully, throws my mind into incredible tumult. My “disorder" shows me a surreal, distorted world, a world full of contradictions, a world of preoccupations, a world of extremes. As a result, I have flown higher and plunged deeper. I’ve seen the full spectrum, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I witness absolute euphoria, vibrant connectedness with the divine, the incomprehensible, joyful miracle that anything exists at all - and conversely- the horror of being a human being, the pain of inhabiting a body, the gripping sensation of wishing to be nothing… the seemingly inescapable depths of sorrow wrapped up in the human experience. My disordered mind sees the world through this ever changing lens, and though moment to moment each experience changes and displays such unique flavors, seeming so absolute and unshaken in their instances, there is an overarching wisdom that comes shining though, out of such extremes and apparently concrete notions.
Concrete notions always shift, with colors bleeding from one to another, sensations bleeding from one to another… in this life, there is always a balance. Everything fluid, flowing from goblet to goblet, creating new dimensions of experience each toss of a tear. And… There is always something horrific in the most gorgeous skies, and always a heavenly, otherworldly beauty in my most painful gaze into my own bloodshot green eyes. Always a balance.
These self portraits are a vulnerable look into my mind, and the chaotic yet beautiful way that I experience this universe, both inside and out. Mental “illness” can feel impossible to live with, and yet the most blessed gift I could have been given. It is fortunate to be able to experience this full spectrum of life… to attempt to capture thoughts, emotions, and sensations and realize them into the visual sphere.
Now, my soul is not invisible.