Growing up in a time when mental illness wasn’t discussed, Rebecca-lee Fisher struggled to reconcile the depression, anxiety and panic attacks that had plagued her for as long as she could remember.
“I’ve always had mental health difficulties, but there was no label back then. It was a matter of ‘just get on with it’. Later I also developed an addiction. I’m proud to say I have been clean for seven or eight years now.”
When asked about her inspiration for art, Rebecca-lee says it was actually an artefact from her addiction days that have helped her so much.
“My therapist at the time said I should keep a life journal and document everything- daily life experiences, taking the kids to school, memories, everything. I wrote it all down. Now that chapter of my life is shut, I use it all as inspiration. I flick to a random page, and away I go.”
This strategy is exactly how Rebecca-lee’s piece Harmony, which featured in the 2021 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition, came into being.
“She was my favourite. I was happy to sell her but sad to say goodbye at the same time! She came to life though my journal and through dwelling on the emotions captured on the page. Reliving old memories can be both good and challenging. It can have positive results.”
Rebecca-lee is one of the biggest advocates for the exhibition, looking forward to it every year. Having been involved for the last two years, she’s planning for a long and fruitful union!
“I absolutely love it. It’s good to know you’re not alone. Standing in front of the other artworks, you can see the artist’s story but in a certain way you can see your own story too. The mind picks up different things.”
Rebecca-lee’s love of art is one of the reasons she’s stayed grounded and stable for so many years. The other reason is her two beautiful daughters.
“It’s not like everything was all fixed after I got clean. I still get severe anxiety. I still struggle. But the experience gave me much more compassion. Art has also helped me so much. Sometimes I stay up until 1am painting after the girls go to bed. Life is a juggle – but it’s a good juggle, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”