Mackenzie Boyd

Art and Art History (Honours Bachelor of Arts), Class of 2020

2019

Flip the Switch

Oil on canvas

54" x 72"

In all honesty, I am not very neat or tidy, I have zero desire to organize your home and I am certainly not obsessed with cleaning. Regardless, when we hear 'OCD' this is usually what springs to mind. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but that’s not me. Someone once told me that they hated the term 'mental illness,' instead referring to it as 'a more interesting way of thinking.' My OCD acts as a sort of lens through which I see the world. It is a part of my reality. It mediates my relationships with people, mundane objects and tasks. Acting, not only, as an excellent platform for discussion, my practice is primarily a means to confront my own lived experience as I come face-to-face with irrationality, deep-rooted fears and explore psychological spaces, narratives and my domestic surroundings. Typically, one’s home is a safe space or sanctuary of sorts. For someone living with OCD, our domestic space can simultaneously feel like a trap; full of triggers which keep us bound in a ritualized, compulsive cycle. Flip the Switch has acted as a sort of foray into painting these paradoxical domestic surroundings. The viewer’s perspective is that of my own, as I stand before the threshold into my bedroom. For all the coziness that exists in the scene, there is a darkness and roughness that suggests a sense of uncertainty. Depicted is a moment from a nightly ritual of mine as I mentally prepare to flick the light switch and 'safely' enter my bedroom.

Award winner: $2,000