Steiner, Oriele


Untitled (2014)

oil on canvas 

Showing my art is a little bit like exposing myself, just like talking about my epilepsy. Its a very personal and emotional experience.  I am so sure that without even knowing, my epilepsy has a direct effect on my paintings.  My work usually consists of figures, mostly abstracted figures, embracing a lucid-transient reality. Now that it has been 5 years since being diagnosed I am finally not afraid or embarrassed to tell people that I suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy, I want to now thank my epilepsy for giving me this surge of creativity that has helped me find this love for painting.

I would like people to understand that epilepsy, especially temporal lobe epilepsy is not a mental disorder. when I’m feeling unusually sad, anxious, frustrated, angry or even happy, its not because i have bipolar disorder or manic depression, its because i have epilepsy. I’m not sure if enough people understand the difference and how it effects so many peoples lives. I want people to look at my work and see that even though living with epilepsy is tough it can also be a blessing.

Steiner-Untitled-reduced.pngI haven’t yet decided on a name for this painting yet as it is brand new and I don’t think its complete yet, but I think this is an important one to show because at the time of painting it I wasn’t quite sure why I was compelled to paint in blue, or why I felt I must paint these people in this particular position, it just happened. I feel a deep connection to it because it makes me feel almost how I feel when I’m having a seizure. Scared, sad…and well slightly green from feeling quite sick. Its size also is quite important, it’s a shame you can’t see it from life, its very large and the figures are almost life size, I felt this was important because it has a bigger impact on the viewer. My goal with a painting like this is for people to see even if it’s just a little bit the experience of an epileptic. This is one of the only paintings that show a darker side, a lot of them are quite garishly bright, but perhaps you could say they show a different side to my experience with epilepsy.


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