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by Robert Milton

RAW (in the mind of PTSD), 2019
photographer unknown

Robert has been shortlisted for the 2019 Australian War Memorial Napier Waller Art Prize.


I painted this piece to help with my rehabilitation with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although I have lived with PTSD for well over two decades I have only recently been diagnosed with chronic PTSD.

I posed myself in this manner to show the sheer dejection you have of life and why things just don’t matter anymore. Everything is a lot of trouble and is exhausting, and so I wanted to capture this kind of hopelessness you feel.

You get to a point when you just want it all to stop, the visions the nightmares, the “daymares” (as I call them) which there is no escape from, no matter how many drugs they give you.

The peripherals of the painting are a snapshot in a day of my life. It shows what I see and feel on a daily basis with no warning.

The painting took two weeks to complete; I started on the outside first as this was quite time consuming and confronting. I painted the outside in grey tones to reflect my visions and daymares. When they do come, they are not always in detail, which is frustrating as I work with detail.