Maxxi Minaxi May | [Self] Love is a Battlefield | 2021 | Installation – W2446mm x H1970mm x D10mm (approx.) (72 components) | Giclee print on Etching Rag paper with mixed media | Pragma: Perils & Passions
To have enduring love is to have both acceptance and sufferance. In the Seven Greek Expressions of Love, Philautia is love for self, regarding as a human necessity, a flaw or vanity. Negatively this ego’ is self-pity, narcissism, arrogance, or selfishness. Many of us struggle with self-love, self-esteem, self-worth.
Some, in the extreme suffer with self-hatred. As a teenager, as a result of many meditations, self-empowerment, mind enhancing courses and psychological therapy, I used affirmations on my bedroom walls to help diminish my consistent critical thoughts. This did not always work, but the intention was there.
In creating this work, I realised that although I have continued to develop, this progression for myself is slow, life-long, and many of these judgements are still evident. Although these thoughts are not as consistent, there is room to improve towards self-esteem, self-worth, and self-compassion. To develop a more positive ego or sense of self, an enduring love that is mentally healthy and less of a ‘battlefield’.
The installation comprises of seventy-two statements that reflect on Philautia as self-pity, hatred and judgement, towards more self-enhancing statements in the form of affirmations and sayings. There is an oscillation between peril and passion and a ceaseless endeavour towards self-love.
The prints comprise of hand-drawn mark-making. Printed in monochrome black, greys and whites, the negatives are as self-harming, scratched-in shouting judgements. Whilst the affirmations are in warm shades of pinks, oranges, and reds, akin to gently etching into the mind that which is encouraging and loving.