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Submitted on
April 23, 2013
Image Size
885 KB


370 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 600D
Shutter Speed
1/128 second
Focal Length
18 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Apr 23, 2013, 2:52:07 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Sensor Size
Storyteller: Recovery by KatePowellArt Storyteller: Recovery by KatePowellArt

This is my final art A2 piece, responding to the theme ‘Storyteller’.

I decided to tell my own story of self harm/food problems through visual means: a self portrait/collage in which I am trying to show that I have now recovered and moved on from what was a really horrible time in my life.

I think I took a risk by including torn-out diary pages from my second relapse in 2010, as a lot of people at school (and now the internet) will see this, and after all it is a very personal thing, when I wrote this I never intended it to be read by anyone other than myself. I decided to include the pages because it is my own way of coming to terms with the fact that this is how I once felt, despite being so far from those feelings now. I think it is better for me to face up to these pages, rather than pretending these feelings never existed. The diary in which they were stored was still sat in the box by my bed, and these words were lying stagnant in the air in my room, and I decided it was time to put them to use or at least get them out of my room as they are no longer relevant of helpful to me in any way. It was very satisfying, almost therapeutic, to tear them to pieces, I felt as though I was killing those thoughts so that they could never return. I stared at them in disbelief as I stuck them down - I can’t believe it was my hand that wrote these words, they seem alien to me now.

The collage coming from my mouth - the story - might not be as aesthetically pleasing or as nicely arranged as I had hoped it would be, but for the first time ever I realised I cared more about the message and meaning in my piece than how it was visually presented or how ‘pretty’ it looked. I hoped that it wouldn’t look too contrived, but I just wanted to portray self injury through small objects and items, where before long butterflies - hope, recovery, redemption, safety - start to emerge, and then take over. I wanted it to represent how I was once so caught up in self hatred and self denial that I thought I would never recover or never even want to recover, but then after much time I did see the light and everything started to fall into place, and I got my life back. Today as I assembled the piece, I realised the last time I had opened a box of razors had been in 2010, and the fact that I have come so far made me feel proud. I included such graphic items and horrible words because they are still a part of me and my story, but I have since risen above that and since realised that I am better than that.

I don’t know if anyone will have read this long description, but if you have done and you are also struggling with self-harm or an eating disorder or know someone who is, know that there is still hope yet. For years I was so low and so hopeless and remember thinking that I would never get better so I might as well take my own life. I am so glad I didn’t. I am admitting all this now because I have transformed and now see all the beauty in life and I am truly, truly happy. When I was 13 I didn’t see how I could ever not want to hurt myself, and at the age of 17 I know that recovery is possible, and recovery is beautiful. I don’t know exactly how to go about recovering, but I do know there is always the possibility of finding a way out. You just have to find it.
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erindwiazmi Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing!! i love your artwork!!!
AnoushayKhan Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OlyaAndrushchenko Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist
JosiHeartYou Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this very much. For me your collage have a really strong message and it is absolute touching. I think this piece could really give hope for people who struggle with self harm and food problems. Great work!
Kelathi Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely beautiful :heart:
Scorchyz Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I can't even begin to say how much I admire this piece
It's so colorful and says so much and it's just gorgeous

This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
leanzaofearth Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013   Digital Artist
First of all, the portrait is gorgeous. I love the pose, colors, style, everything! Secondly, of course the story. It's very powerful and the way you executed it is brilliant. I have never experienced such things, but I know that a lot of young people today do. It reminds me of what my Creative Writing professor said about poems - it's very specific, very personal, but by being that it becomes relatable and personal to other people as well. (something like that LOL)

Anyway, great great great piece! :clap:
tacomintrico Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
This is a great piece, and your story makes it even more beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Ramello Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This piece is so lovely, it sits there and implants an image in my mind which turns and turns, seeping and oozing into the crevices of my own experiences. It is a story of hope, and of great sadness. One which i can relate to well. Thanks for sharing your beautiful art, you are very talented. Just curious, how long does a piece like this usually take you to plan, execute and finish?
LilaeaBluecoat Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
How very brave of you to make such a personal piece for everyone to see! It's really powerful because of it!
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