Kate O’Connor is an emerging visual artist based in Binalong NSW, with a background of over 20 years in visual communication. “I paint to express thoughts, ideas and memories that belong to another place. Distant, and at times a very close set of realities that do not belong to the here and now. I love to create characters and narratives. I continue to discover that my creative practice is not only an occupation but an occupational therapy and most importantly, a bridge between places in my mind and more widely held perspectives of reality.”
SUPER HERO COMPLEX is an expression of my experience mid 2020. I live with Bipolar disorder and was triggered during this time into a manic psychotic episode. My beliefs and identity shifted. I believed that I was a Superhero (undercover). I received and transcribed codes, formulas and instructions to defend the Earth and the humans from not only the virus but evil forces. My partner became more concerned when he noticed that I was wearing bright blue shiny undies on the outside of my leggings. In the emergency room, where I believed I was keeping my condition in check (undercover) and would not be admitted into psychiatric care, I was given some paper and a pen at my request. After focusing for 5 minutes and working with the pens and paper i presented my work to the doctor treating me. ‘What is this Kate?’ – ‘It is a gift for you, you can claim it as your own work, It is the cure for Covid’. ‘Thank you Kate, that is very generous, however I now feel I need to schedule you.’ Cover blown. The document was a drawing of an upside down dog talking in morse and algebraic code. I thought my vaccine was groundbreaking. During my time in care I painted day and night. When I was not allowed to use paint I used black coffee. This helped me process the thoughts and ideas that I was experiencing, with the positive outcome being a large body of work and reference material. The elements used in my poster are selfies taken in the bathroom of the psychiatric unit, layering drawings and hand written codes created from my time in hospital. It has been cathartic to create this expression of my experience.