Original oil painting
100cm x 76cm
I met Melanie in 2019 outside Embankment Tube Station in London. As with all my subjects I get to know my subjects over a period of time, I sketch them and take photos and eventually get to know their story. Melanie had been on the streets for three months having left her home in Portsmouth. She was finding life hard but she felt that she had no choice but to leave her home. I learnt that like so many people on the streets she was suffering from mental health issues and was enduring constant battles in her head. She was desperately trying to keep a hold of things but I felt that in her head she was constantly spinning plates.
I wanted my painting to show her mental battle, her head and eyes are steady, slightly leaning, she remains calm yet there is so much trauma raging in her head. I used a green background to add to her eyes which are the most important point of the painting the doorway to another world that Melanie so desperately wants to keep shut.