Blod som skuggor i vatten

“A psychosis is the innermost rebellion. It makes things clearer: around the diving bell that people are ensconced in like a fetus in a membrane, alien,
predatory fish move about.”
–Birgitta Trotzig

A confused bird flies straight into a window that cannot be opened. The handle has been dismantled, and the blinds cannot be pulled up.

Everything went so slowly in the beginning. The hand that I lifted in front of my face lingered in the air like a long exposure. There was no time to sleep or eat. My thoughts seemed to be sticking to the outside of my body, a body that remembers the pain from giving birth. In the dream it was only I who understood, who saw what was going on. There were so many codes and signals but no messages to decipher.

My room is the innermost one in the hospital corridor. The blind lady always manages to grasp my hand when I try to walk past. She is extremely paranoid. I draw two portraits of her. She keeps one, which she can show to the nurses to prove she really exists.

In the ward there are decorative canvases made from floral cloth. In the bottom-right corners of these canvases, someone had used a pencil to scribble down titles in shaky handwriting. I was convinced that I was the one who had written the titles. It can perhaps be compared with how I am convinced that the pictures are mine, even though I cannot remember making all of them.

One of the titles written was Blood as shadows in water.

The book "Blod som skuggor i vatten" contains 72 drawings made during a two month period when the artist, Ingvild Hovland Kaldal, received treatment in hospital for a postpartum psychosis in 2013. The drawings are all made with charcoal on paper, and towels. They vary in their expression from abstract to figurative. The book can be seen as a journal from a state beyond time. A state that moves between heaven and hell, where chaos meets ecstasy and darkness is mixed with light.

This book is published with support from The Arts Council Norway.