rOGUE Gallery Presents: Bruno Vinhas | When it Stopped
“The hardest thing about being in a depressed state is that people have preconceived ideas of what it might look like. They usually associate it with not being able to cope with daily life and isolation, but in truth, not everyone experiences depression the same way. Some people are fully functional as social beings; I am one of those.
On When It Stopped I depict my coping mechanism of staying busy, all the time, as a way to propel my mind to be thinking about the next thing not permitting any voids in which I would have to think about my own self. Through a series of textile art pieces steaming from the anatomical heart and the brain, I speak about what depression looks like to me and allowed all thoughts and feelings swimming around my head to be manifested.”
— Bruno Vinhas
Brazilian by birth, Bruno Vinhas is passionate about global craft culture which drove his will to work in a gallery environment. A degree in Tourism and Hospitality has provided Vinhas with the experience of living and working in multiple countries and being immersed in different cultures changed his perspective about art and craft. Graduate with honours through College of North Atlantic’s Textiles: Craft & Apparel Design program in 2016, Vinhas has devoted his practice to textile art with a focus on embroidery; he has also been part of several different projects including but not limited to set and costume design, mixed media and visual arts, theatre and dance. He has been working as the Craft Council of Newfoundland’s Gallery Director/Curator since August 2018, previously holding the position of Gallery Assistant Director for a year; his primary focus in the gallery is regarding accessibility and inclusion in public art spaces.
Click here to go to Bruno’s Website
Bruno Vinhas Artist Statement:
In me. With me. Alone. To assume that you are someone when you don’t even know you exist is highly complicated. In this phase – half crazy, half polka, with a hint of lyricism – in which I am going through: I believe that I am everything I did not want to hear. I would be able to tell me if I had time to meet myself and exchange some ideas. When in doubt, I doubt myself and my existence. I dream, however.
Plan, paper, smile and tears … symptoms of a life gradually revived for a new birth. If you ask me who I am I will tell you that I am what I once was, what I assimilate from the world and what I intend to be. It is me and not others in search of myself and so I live. One day at a time. An hour at a time just like the heart only beats once every millisecond.
I wish to rediscover past lives and re-establish my course towards what I insist on calling “the future”. I am life and luck, heat and death. I am all and nothing and there is still the question of whether I really exist. Therefore, I leave you the freedom to tell me and me the responsibility to read: what, when and how I am or will be…
I am in me, like a weird spectator of a fantastic world … I lean over imaginary clipboards and describe myself as the smoke rings fill the air around me and all threads fall, one strand at a time in the place where they are bound to live forever. I suggest images to me of what I am and I am not, I draw them with needle and thread, I blur my existence with what I believe you want to see of me and by doing so … I confess my deepest fears and insecurities on a piece of cloth…
And by confessing to myself my most secret dreams, it may be that I am sweetening my mental guts with palliatives: “thoughtful” boomerangs – that take me to far places only to later return me safe and sound to the cocoon I carry on my back … to the place I call home or once did.
The hardest thing about being in a depressed state is that people have preconceived ideas of what it might look like. They usually associate it with not being able to cope with daily life, isolation and crying most of the time, not being able to hold a conversation and in a constant state of needing other people. But in truth, not everyone experiences depression the same way.
Some people are fully functional as social beings when they are out and about, they make jokes and laugh with other people, they carry on with their work and some are very productive … But then there is that time of the day when everything falls silent and the crippling thoughts fill their mind and they feel worthless, guilt for things they did or didn’t do and that the world is falling apart around them.
I am one of those. My coping mechanism is to stay busy, all the time, as a way not to allow any “undesired thoughts” to take over, just like that I propel my mind to be thinking about the next thing not permitting any voids in which I would have to think about my own self.
I make art to express what is going on in my head when, by mistake, I give it a break. Every tiny stitch placed on the fabric is a relief and moment of breathing, exhaling the anxiety. The precision of where the needle goes down is proof to myself that I am worth and I can do beautiful things. The knots are the last cry for help at the end of a cycle … and then is moving on to the next one.
Just like most embroidery pieces, where most people only see the beautiful surface of the work, the composure on a daily basis helps create the image of a strong person, the one you can come to and talk about your issues, the one willing to help anyone. When you turn around an embroidery though, you may see an entanglement of threads and knots and that is exactly how my head is … deep inside there is a mystery not known even to oneself, and a tangled black hole of thoughts that squeezes the will power of one’s heart to keep pulsing.
My body and mind will go on but the heartbeat weakens bit by bit … and those embroidery creations only happen When It Stopped…