My name is Garfield and I'm a Conceptual Artist and Social Scientist.
25 years ago my journey started in trying to understand the workings of the mind prompted by a close family member experiencing mental health issues.
The negative transformation I witnessed of their behaviour was so alarming and distressing it freaked me out, but I was compelled to try to understand! What was going on?? What was happening?? Why was it happening??
I needed to fix things! But how?? I had no detailed knowledge of what was being experienced or the science behind it.
However, after months of watching the situation unfold I did come to the firm conclusion that medication ALONE was not the solution to regain mental balance.
Depression, stress, and anxiety, is common to all of us to some degree, learning to manage these situations effectively is not something we are taught at school or university.
It was then that my journey began in earnest as I started studying, training, and researching into thoughts & emotions, the workings of the mind, patterns of behaviour, and positive transformation & behavioural change.
I needed to find a method to enable an individual to 1. To be alerted and recognize the onset of negative emotions & behaviour and 2. To develop the skills to manage, counter, and eventually eliminate their negative moods & actions.
Psychodynamic Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy were the areas of research I focused on to find techniques & solutions to manage depression, stress, and anxiety.
Notting Hill Gallery, London 1994
All throughout this time the conceptual art I was creating became strongly influenced by my research. It soon became clear and obvious to me that my art would in some way be part of the methodology I was developing.
I decided that I needed to make creations that could reach all the human senses and become an anchor, a trigger, and a catalyst in the behaviour change process.
During my research what also became clear to me was that artists & scientists are similar in the way that they share the desire to seek to express an answer to their questions.
The Symbol of GAH!
Having researched with scientists, academics & experts + tested a number of methodologies 'The Art of GAH!' is my expression of an answer to my question.
To create artworks for everyday people that will influence them to positively manage their negative moods and behaviours so they can have the freedom to be happy, be at peace & satisfied, or just have the freedom to be the best they can be.
Special thanks for the guidance and inspiration from your work:
Prof. Stephen Scrivener – Chelsea College of Art & Design – London UK | Prof. Donald A Wilson – Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research – New York USA | Prof. Elizabeth Kuipers – Department of Psychology King’s College London UK | Prof. Maria Larsson – Department of Psychology Stockholm University – Stockholm Sweden | Prof. Paul Bebbington – Department of Mental Health Sciences Univesity College London UK | Prof. Yuri Masaoka – Department of Physiology Showa University – Tokyo Japan | Anne Hilde Vassbø Hagen – Institutt for Psykologisk Rådgivning – Bergen Norway | Sarah McCartney – Mistress of Perfume mastery @4160 Tuesdays – London UK | Callum Langston-Bolt – Les Senteurs – London UK | Sabina Andron – IKWIL Arts Facilitation – London UK.