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Mad Heartists


Personal artwork submitted by Aziz: three collages created in response to mental health and medical scenarios.

I have chosen to depict a consultation scenario in one of my collages. I have tried the portray all of the pressures that the doctor is facing in that consultation. The first being the time pressure of speaking with each patient for a very short amount of time, doctors typically have about 10-15 minutes with each patient and in that time, they are expected to take history, be able to get all the signs and find out all of the symptoms, diagnose the patient and give a treatment. I have decided to also say that the doctor is also supposed to use the skills from improvisation throughout the consultation such as listening, communicating effectively, being able to think on their feet under time pressure and establish rapport with the patient. I have chosen to depict this scene in a fun and humorous way because it was more fun for me to do this collage this way but also to make the point that laughter is a great medicine. I have learnt from my experiences in improv not to take anything too seriously and that there is great value in learning to laugh at yourself.

I have chosen to depict my experience of lockdown in my second collage. This collage was my favourite. The chaos of the outside world is depicted by the dinosaurs, the asteroid and the alien sci fi monster. Equally as chaotic was election day in United States, I am not an American, but the ripple effect of that election dominated the news for weeks at a time and I could not get myself away from it. I feel like this chaos is also paralleled in my improv classes, which is the reason they are so fun. You have no idea what scenario you must play next and where it might go but you must play along. I have also depicted my experience of being stuck at home staring at a screen all day and how that progressively started to get harder and harder for me to keep doing the same thing every day like groundhog day.

The third collage depicted the wait for the vaccine. I was questioning whether the possibility of us returning to our old lives is a fantasy that will be cured by the vaccine or are we going to have to keep living in this reality forever. I was also asking whether this vaccine was a really the breakthrough we have all been waiting for. I have also created a gravity at the bottom centre of the collage as if there is a black hole dragging everyone and everything to destruction and the creation of this vaccine was our fight against that ‘impending doom’. This was the most serious of the three collages, but I also enjoyed making it.

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