My Personal Journey of Healing Through Art
© Eric Rottcher, Changing, Mixed media collage on paper, 11”x 14”
Eric Rottcher on exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences through mixed media art.
Submitted by Eric Rottcher, US
I create mixed media collages and assemblages as a means of communicating more effectively. Similar to other languages, I take bits and pieces from others and combine them to invent new ways of telling a story. The act of creating is compulsory, and it has been a source of comfort and solace to me for as long as I can remember. As the only artistically inclined member of my family, I was encouraged to explore my creativity by taking art classes.
© Eric Rottcher
It was at Shippensburg University where I truly began to explore my passion for art. I was encouraged to utilise different mediums in a variety of disciplines to create pieces that depicted my unique perspective on the world. I also took classes in Aesthetics, which allowed me to dive deeper into the meanings behind my artwork.
Shortly after I graduated from college, my life took an unexpected turn. My mother suffered from a brain aneurysm and two strokes, leaving my family and me devastated. This left me in a very dark place for many years, struggling with depression and substance abuse. During this time, I was unable to focus on my art, as it was too difficult to look at the world through a creative lens.
© Eric Rottcher, Psychosis, Mixed media on canvas, 8“ x 10“
It wasn't until a few years ago that I was finally able to heal and find my way back into the studio. I used the lessons learned during that dark period of my life to create smaller, more personal pieces that explored the secrets we keep and the emotions that lie beneath the surface. My work often deals with topics such as mental illness, religion, death, secrets, addiction, and humor, all of which I have experienced in some capacity. Through my work, I strive to find new ways of expressing the importance of defining ourselves and how our interpretation influences the amount we wish to reveal or conceal.
Creating mixed media collages and assemblages has been a source of comfort and solace during some of the most trying times in my life. It has allowed me to explore the darker aspects of human nature and find beauty in the midst of pain. I hope that my artwork can connect viewers to the universal yet often ignored emotions and realizations that exist within all of us.
Find out more on Eric Rottcher's website.