About Exploring The Comfort Zone
The “comfort zone” is a psychological place or space where people feel comfortable. For some people when they leave or go beyond this space mentally, they start to produce anxiety or fear. This mental world interested me and I set out to see if I could visualise these ideas into images.
After some thought and drawing sketches, I decided that a cave would be a good location to represent this idea. Its dark, unknown and unfamiliar territory, suggests uncertainty. The dark unexplored areas on the painting are the fear or anxiety “the unknown”. This is reinforced by writing on the wall, which states negative words/beliefs.
The character in the centre is holding a torch. As the character moves through the cave, the cave walls (and the mental outlook of the character) changes. This is because as they know where they've been or gone beyond their comfort zone and then relaxed. It then becomes mentally achievable to easily go there again. The words on the wall change to positive ones. This idea is represented by the character placing torches, as markers of where they've been and the lit areas with positive statements.
I wanted to keep a unbiased view of the comfort zone and not make it too much about my own experience. I did this by distancing myself from my own emotions about the piece.
The final painting is one which is a good representation of this abstract idea. I think it works as a reminder to avoid creating negative thinking and not being afraid to explore outside the comfort zone.
It also raises questions about how people see the world, what beliefs do they create themselves and why do we have this cultured thinking?
Acrylic on wood. 10 x 8 inches. Completed 2018. Currently on exhibition.
Exploring The Comfort Zone