On reflection: The whirlwind

Catalogue Handwritten.jpeg

The Group

What I haven't touched upon is the very special people that made up the Barbican Visual Art Group of 2018. For this is a group exhibition. It's in April that we get some sort of idea of where each artist is going. 

In one development session with artist John Walter, he recognises that my idea of a communal space would work well with a fellow artist's work. Joe Fear is creating a graphic novel, featuring the work of they're late friend Anna. We are both in agreement, and I am honoured at the thought.

The group is made up of a mix of visual artists. Performance pieces, videos, paintings, films, installations are some mediums that are explored. SUPER TALENTED PEOPLE, many of whom can be found through the #barbicanCG on Insta. 

May 2018: Final Days

Much of May is spent at my part time retail job, whilst juggling everything Common Ground. Oh I didn't mention. We collectively decided to name the exhibition COMMON GROUND. It took a while, and lots of disagreement, but we did it! 

At this point we've also figured out our individual budget, and the curatorial team is creating a catalogue so we have a take away from the exhibition. 

Lots of materials are bought to create the atmosphere including

*cue game show music*

a jasmine home spray

 a retro bluetooth speaker

 a tea set

 a scrapbook/photo album

Audience: oooooh

and on the afternoon before the exhibition I pop to the local indian grocers for some lipton tea bags and green tea leaves. All the bases are covered. 


3 days before the exhibition. I've got it all sorted, mainly. My cushions are mostly finished but I'm worrying. They're looking so shit. So incredibly shit. Threads hang, showcasing the amateur sewing skills. These hands belong to an imposter artist. *faints*

Kidding, I didn't faint. It was worse. 

I'm in bed, ignoring the thoughts. A coping mechanism I have adopted since 2005. When all of a sudden, I start hallucinating. I have searched for a word that can describe what happened, and hallucination is the closest. My head starts spinning and the more I look at my phone, the worse it gets. My fingers feel like they are expanding. Like someone is blowing air, and they will burst at any moment. My tongue is expanding, throbbing in my mouth. 

I get up, finally. Go to my mirror with my sausage fingers, tears streaming down my face and notice that nothing has changed. My fingers are the usual size. I stick my tongue out. It looks like it always has, pink and moist. 

I get flashbacks. This has happened before. I've only had a panic attack twice in my life before this. 

I run to my dad's room where he comforts me.

Dad: You're stressing

Aroob: I'm not

Dad: You're in denial. This is a family thing, we don't know how to deal with stress

And then it dawns upon me. In this whirlwind I haven't processed any of it. I've just bopped along pretending it's all fiiiine. It's all gooood. It's not all fine and it's not all good.