I am a bit obsessed with darkness.
By which I do not mean, let’s be clear, the actual state of darkness. I’m actually petrified of the dark, as I believe I’ve mentioned before. What I actually mean is that I have a fascination with all things mysterious, or morose, or just downright dark and weird and scary.
I think this is quite clear through the work I have posted on my work page, and it really centres on a fascination with emotion, how people feel things, and how they respond to those feelings. I’m a deeply emotional person (see Sally-Mood) and that’s something I’ve always been interested to explore. I can frequently be found glued to the Wikipedia article on serial killers, or the psychology of horror films. Anything with a dark or gritty undertone will have me hooked – which is probably why I like Once Upon A Time so much.
I don’t think this is a negative thing at all. Being willing to explore emotions is a fundamental part of being able to be truly creative (I believe), and as I do a lot of performing, writing, and appreciating of other people’s creations, I think being willing to embrace human darkness is a very valuable quality.
Mostly, I think the obsession stems from not really having exposure to darkness. I’ve had a very lucky life, full of amazing experiences, and I think that overall it’s turned me into a very positive and proactive person. When something negative has happened to me I’ve been fascinated by the impact it has had on me, and that’s really made me even more interested in that facet of personality. The main memory I have of pure sadness is visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau with a national project called the Holocaust Educational Trust. Even though the visit wasn’t something which had any personal meaning for me, I found the visit deeply impactful, and I just couldn’t bring myself to speak for most of the tour. It is an experience I will never forget, and a sensation I’ll always be fascinated to explore – though naturally I hope I can avoid personal sadness which runs that deep.