PTSD is an acronym for Post Traumatic Stress disorder. It is becoming an increasingly worrying issue in today’s society. It can be caused by a number of different distressing events:

  • war
  • combat
  • abuse
  • traffic accidents
  • terrorist attacks
  • natural disasters – earthquake, hurricane
  • sexual assault
  • witnessing a violent death

PTSD can occur immediately after the event or it can occur weeks, months or years after. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people who experience a traumatic event are affected from PTSD. The reasons for the occurrence of PTSD is still unknown however, I think PTSD is developed because the experience cases memories which dominant the mind and therefore take over our control of the imagination.

Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD is a form of the disorder which is caused by a repeatedly occurring experience of a traumatic event. It is similar to PTSD however, it may not develop until later in life to the time of the event. The disorder is caused by more severe traumas including:

  • those experienced in early life which can affect child development
  • caused by a parent or carer
  • experienced over a long period of time
  • the person is alone during the experience
  • the victim is still in contact with the person responsible

PTSD is a difficult disorder because it can take years to recognise, especially when the events happen early in life and symptoms don’t start to show till later. For children this can be a change in behaviour and a low level of self-confidence. In adults, the symptoms are more commonly a lose of trust in other people and a feeling of separation from friends and family.

More broad symptoms of Complex PTSD:

  • shame/guilt
  • being out of controlling of emotions
  • losing attention and concentration
  • physical – headaches, dizziness
  • cutting oneself off from other people
  • self harm, alcohol and drug abuse
  • suicidal thoughts


  • finding friends
  • getting a job
  • regular exercise
  • taking up hobbies

It is important to develop trust when forming relationships. It is very important and helpful to form a testing relationship with a therapist who will be able to show and help you develop these relationships with friends and family.

The treatment comes in 3 stages:


  • speaking with a therapist to learn how to control feelings of distrust and lose the feeling of being “disconnected” from friends and family
  • Grounding techniques
  • Aim to make past seem less frightening and reduce the amount of flashbacks of the traumatic event

Trauma-Focused Therapy 

  • psychotherapy
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – exploring and changing how you think about your life and to free yourself from unhelpful patterns of behaviour
  • eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EDMR)


  • begin to use skills and techniques to develop better relationships with other people
  • medication i.e. antidepressants may be recommended if psychotherapy isn’t possible or if you fell unsafe

How to treat PTSD

Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. There are a number of recommended treatments which can be used for someone with PTSD. Watchful waiting is where you monitor the symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment. Antidepressants are commonly used for those with anxiety and high stress levels. Psychotherapists including CBT and EMDR.




Khoa Le

My knowledge of illustrator’s is rather limited as a Fine Art student so I had to do a bit of research into a few by asking fellow students and exploring the library and internet. Khoa Le is an illustrator I came across on Pinterest. Le is a Vietnamese artist who freelances in art. I was fascinated by their use of colour and way Le draws. The simplicity of her work is what makes it so great. I find the work is very pretty to look at and with the rich use of colour brings the piece to life.

I am inspired by Le’s work because I am interested in the simple line drawing technique and the overlay of paint to produce their work. Although I perceive the work as being simple, it is still extremely intense and rich with the use of colour. I want to bring this into my own work and use acrylic paint in a way which will bring the book to life.

Lucie Rie

Lucie Rie is a contemporary artist who made most of her thriving work around the 1960s and 1970s. This was a time where she was sharing a studio with Hans Coper. Rie and Coper’s work has often been associated with each other even though their most famous and well-known work is so different.

I find Rie’s work very interesting. I am especially intrigued by the texture she creates using the sgraffito technique in the clay and with the clay slip as well as the types and colours on gaze slip she uses. Her style and technique gives the work a rustic almost vintage look to the work. Sgraffito will create this effect as well as the way Rie uses the gaze.

Born in 1902, Rie grew up in a very privileged family in Austria. However, her easy life was affected by trauma and un happiness with the rise of Nazism throughout Germany and Austria. As a trained potter Rie fled to England where the affect of Nazism was not so direct. Most of her most famous work was made during her time where she was sharing a studio with Hans Coper.


Perry Grayson

Grayson Perry is one of the most well-known ceramists in contemporary art and is a very inspiring creator especially for a Fine artist. Perry uses a lot of bright colour and texture in his work to create conceptual vases. The vases hold subjects which are at odds with the attractive appearance.  Perry uses imagery and text to document and communicate to the audience to societal concerns he responds too. He uses traditional methods in the pottery but when it comes to the decor, Perry uses more contemporary methods of embossing, photographic transfers to create animated surfaces.

Rachael Whiteread

Rachael Whiteread is a contemporary English artist who’s artwork is mostly made from cast and plaster. I have come across Whiteread’s work in past projects during my foundation degree and A Levels. The materials I am working with are similar to those used in Whiteread’s work. I am fascinated by her work because she looks into past events and creates memorials or awareness pieces in relation to the event. For example, The Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in Vienna resembles a library from the world within the pages of the books. The pages of the books are turned outwards.


Most of her work is of a very large scale and is displayed in public places for the public to view freely. The work acts as a memorial or reminder for the event she is attempting to respond to. Places she has displayed her work includes Trafalgar Square and the memorial grounds of the square in Vienna.

Ai Wei Wei

“Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act” – Ai Wei Wei.

The contemporary artist is best known for his activist work. His work has a common theme of responding to an event e.g. an earthquake, human rights violations. For example, Ai Wei Wei invited the public to create a flower in memory of the child victims of the devastating Sichuan earthquake, 2008.  Much of Wei Wei’s work is to raise awareness or to raise a response or a political; stunt against governments and societal systems. I find Wei Wei’s work incredibly interesting and inspiring because it is very conceptual and yet accessible for all levels of artistic knowledge. Ai Wei Wei as an artist is very influential because he isn’t afraid to express his feelings on a matter and is willing to accept the consequences of his actions.

Ai Wei Wei is a fan of ceramics however he does use it quite a lot in his practice. In his work you can see the relationship between it and the quote by General Mao, “the only way to build a new world is by destroying the old one”. I am fascinating by the way Wei Wei allows the coloured slip and coloured gazes to drip down the pots creating an almost melting effect. I want to use a similar style in my own work and will attempt to do so throughout the next four weeks.


The Oceania exhibition talked about the intriguing work created by natives to the Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian Islands. The work ranged from before they were colonised to a time in which they were. The art was not just for pleasure and display for used in daily life including canoes, paddles and shields and for ceremonies and rituals. Much of the work is believed to hold spiritual power which gives it a whole new meaning to the people.

After the arrival of LT (later Captain) James Cook and colonisation by The Europeans, the art changed as the natives began to adapt to new technologies and ideologies brought over. Drawings and paintings one paper became more dominant in the cultural. Not only this, the ideas in the art changed, the colonisation meant the lands and people were exploited, new diseases were brought over, life was hard.

As you walk through the exhibition, you can see the changes through time. The new technologies, the new ideas, the new feelings felt by these people. It was a interesting visit with some beautiful artwork which gave you an insight into the cultural of the Asian community through time.