20 x 16” oil on canvas
‘Just Breathe’ was a reaction to the government advice to wear a mask/face covering and the anxiety experienced by those who were exempt. It references the feeling of claustrophobia and inability to breathe freely. It was painted during the time of the Black Lives Matter protests, where the slogan ‘I can’t breathe’ appeared on placards and t-shirts, etc.
The red layered background adds to the feeling of claustrophobia and the drama and passion of the protests and debates about mask wearing. The blue reflects the pure, fresh air associated with deep breathing and wide-open spaces.
I chose to portray a young, healthy looking female to highlight that not every disability is visible and ask the viewer: would you judge her for not wearing a mask, or allow her to just breathe?