On the 3rd of October i was hounoured to have my art auctioned at Kensington Palace in aid of raising funds for a mental health charity called 'The Leanne Baker Trust'
I chose to focus my painting specifically about the epidemic of male suicides and how society has harnessed the 'Boys dont cry' attitude which leads to males bottling up their emotion often until it is too late.
Here are some words from the printed brochure.
EMMA GRZONKOWSKI - THE DEADLY FAÇADE
Acrylic and ink on boxed canvas piece by Emma Grzonkowski, entitled ‘The Deadly Façade’.
Created especially for the Art and Mind Dinner, this incredibly emotional piece is centred around mental health, and in particular the epidemic of male suicides. Emma was horrified to hear that suicide remains the most common cause of death for men under the age of 45 in the UK and that in 2018 men accounted for three quarters of UK deaths by suicide; which she describes as ‘arguably to do with the fact that men find it harder to open up and to talk about their problems as women would do.’ Emma continues: ‘society has harnessed the 'boys don't cry' stereotype which makes them less likely to reach out and receive help, before it is too late.'
In creating the piece Emma spoke to men who have battled with depression and suicidal thoughts and asked them to tell me how they felt within these moments. This was a very emotional process and she carried their words heavily in her heart, so much that she decided to write their powerful thoughts and feelings onto the canvas, woven and embedded within it. Examples include ‘worthless’, ‘I am not ok’, ‘isolation’ and ‘man up’ and though some words are hardly visible, they carry a huge weight.
Emma wanted the painting to symbolise a male who appears 'normal' externally but he is hiding his true feelings through a barrier of emotion - essentially wearing a mask. The blue streak across the man’s face represents this barrier and the words written convey his true thoughts and what society’s stereotypes have pressured him to live up to. Emma has battled with mental health herself so is very passionate about raising awareness for this cause.