Artist Joi Murugavell’s whimsical and hilarious drawings are her means of finding escape and understanding. To see more of her creative imagery, please visit her website.
My name is Joi … it’s been a month since I told a white lie – a hairy and hilarious experience. To be continually continued …
I think my imagination is a product of not fitting into my world as a child. Back then I didn’t realise the feeling of detachment and not fitting in was normal and OK. I made up epic stories in my head, kinda like a mini series, with characters and plots. Often, I’d lie down and close my eyes to imagine dialogues and images vividly, till my body and brain felt like jelly, because you just can’t lie down for that long. At some point I sat up and started drawing instead. I drew these things I now call Oodlies which mean Odd doodles or Odd Lies (we tell ourselves).
Over the years, escaping the present remained a habit, I hardly ever felt “here.” And then one day, late in 2015, I felt here again. It had been a good twelve years since the last, solid “here,” but I remembered here, as if it were yesterday.
At the time I thought, “Enough farting around!” I isolated myself for a week to think in silence; it was a pleasant experience with some crucial realisations.
I realised one thing that made me feel displaced from myself was telling a huge amount of white lies. All of them stemming from wanting to be accepted and not hurting people.
For a month I told no white lies at all. I found out that I felt more able to appreciate what a moment brought to me even when it was uncomfortable. I’m still working through this theme in the art I’ve been creating since the month of not lying.
As for the detachment from myself, it turned out to be quite a simple thing. My head doesn’t cope or benefit from too many outings, people, parties and all the things which seem so normal and fun. I just needed to say so.
The themes behind my artwork have always switched between escape and understanding.
The doodles in particular are an escape into the sort of silence that provides clarity.
It took twenty-five hours to complete this freehand wall mural and during that time I played one song, “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd. Somewhere in the middle of the mural, I remembered being in a cafe with two friends. The friend to the left of me was bipolar and the one to the right of me clinically depressed (and there I was, happy to be stuck in the middle of them.) There’s definitely a universal fascination with perfect minds. Firstly they don’t exist and secondly, firstly.
This year I’m working on communicating better. I feel an artist could connect so much more by working on words too. We’re all flooded with so much noise, I’d like to contribute towards understanding and not more noise. One way to do that is to put out content that I want to consume or frequently look for, myself. And it’s usually to understand my life better.
and … dance, dance, dance.