Hi! I’m Cat Gandini, a Brisbane based Australian artist and writer.
Self taught, I began creating art in 2017, as a means to express and entertain myself during a period of debilitating mental and physical illness. This therapeutic outlet gave me a goal to work towards and a project on which to focus.
Sharing my work on Instagram also helped me connect with others, combating the isolation that inevitably goes along with being housebound by chronic illness.
Creating and sharing my art and writing felt like stamping a giant “I WAS HERE” sign on the world. Over the course of my illness I’ve frequently struggled with the confusing belief that I may not actually exist. Bear with me. In my mind, to exist is to be seen and heard; to be participating in life. My experience with chronic illness is that the world wants to forget sick people exist. Invisible and silenced; friends stop calling, invitations stop arriving; people move on with their own lives and the sick are left behind. If I was never seen or heard, was I still existing?
But even sick and all sorts of messed up, I could still create something. This was something I could control. There was a vacancy in the universe where this thing did not yet exist, until I (ME – The person who wasn’t even sure she was real!), came along and MADE it exist. And maybe the more things I made real and existent, the more real and existent I felt too.
The blessed-ness of the internet (along with the horrifying-ness of the internet), meant that I could put my little creations out into the world to be seen by others. Imbued with all the thoughts, feelings and experiences that were long bubbling inside me, my art allowed me to feel visible once again. I was seen and heard. My footprint imprinted into the sand (if only for a moment), demanding acknowledgement and validation despite my current circumstances.