In March 2020, when the country was locked down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us were unexpectedly presented with a slower pace of life. Whilst this pause in normal proceedings has caused much hardship, it also gave us extra time to ourselves – a real luxury when we consider the everyday frenzy of life!
As an artist, Andy Dyer chose to use this extra time as a gift to develop more creativity, which, in turn, proved a positive distraction in guiding him through the mental health effects of this extraordinary year.
As well as obtaining a greater awareness of his own emotional health last year, Andy’s work with the Samaritans and as a Mental First Aid Trainer, gave him a better insight into the struggles encountered by many as a result of Covid - 19. This emphasised the importance of maintaining good mental health and served as further motivation to continue exploring the role of mental health in art.
Much of Andy’s work focuses on our mental stability. He aims for people to view his art and consider their own insecurities through life’s stages, to highlight and expose vulnerabilities, to realise life is fragile and that it is what lies beneath which is important.
“Uncomfortable places” [pictured] is a project developed recently through which Andy aimed to emphasise how uncomfortable life can become when we are struggling. The chair itself symbolises a place of comfort- it’s somewhere to unwind and relax. However, if we are anxious and feeling overwhelmed then even the simple act of sitting on a chair can be painful. The barbed wire symbolises this pain - a physical barrier making it difficult to find sanctuary. Yet such struggles, if endured, can be emerged from, as depicted by the presence of a butterfly which is a representation of joy, hope and metamorphosis in life.
Although the effects of the pandemic have put strain on many people’s mental health, this has in fact been a positive stage for Andy. His art has taken on a new relevance in these unprecedented times. Covid - 19 has not been able to lock down his creativity.
For more information about Andy Dyer please visit his website www.andydyer.co.uk