Status Defence – 2017

Status Defense
Status Defense – Installation 2017

For this assignment I decided to paint anxiety letting my thoughts and emotions dictate what to paint, this was influenced by my Self Portrait piece found here. 

Fig 1.

A sunny spot in our studio, a beautiful flickering light from the sun outside sets a serendipity moment. This element becomes a feature in the finished work.

Letting thoughts go and working with creative instincts.

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Finished First Layer.

2nd Layer.

Cover ups and defensive mechanisms kick in. This is not the end. Rectification.  Acknowledgements. A new expression surfaces.


Fig 9. Status. Defence – Lee Rapira Installment 2017

The following is an excerpt written for a class assignment to help clarify the decisions made for the work submitted.

I decided to use posts as a fence much like those found on a Marae (meeting house) to portray the idea of protection from future events that can bring on panic attacks for anxiety sufferers. However, like doors, fences limit freedom – they keep out the bad but can also hem a person in.  Posts are painted with deliberate frailty which connect to the stress of being ‘on-guard’. Boxed-in muted colours have no rhyme or rhythm, they sit and hover which resonates with the pattern of anxiousness and shadows attached to it. Anxiety is connected to memory which is why parts of the old painting are left but the rest is erased from view. If only getting rid of a nervous disorder was that easy.  The single blackened window gives no reprieve from seeing the sun, but light beats through it all the same, giving hope. In this state of despair a ladder is added to climb out because what is a ladder but a fence turned sideways.

Fig 18. Aotearoa Marae (2017)

Aotearoa marae (Fig 18) is connected to me through my mother. This image shows the fence post lining the entrance of the Marae. It is located on Hastings Road, Okaiawa in South Taranaki, New Zealand.

Door Art Installations

Below are other artists who also use doors as a way to express ideas and concepts.

Art and Anxiety

Using art to alleviate pain from day to day stresses is therapeutic. Crosby (2015) a contemporary artist uses paint as a tool for creative communication.

Fig 20. Clem Crosby – Motel (2015)

How do you relate personally to this work?

I’ve suffered from panic attacks and anxiety at different times in my life. Coming from a broken home has played a major part and I’ve only recently decided to acknowledge the effects it has had on my life. Agoraphobia, depression and social anxiety are also things I experience.

What are three main things your work is about?

Self analysis, anxiety and self discovery.

How did the work evolve?

This work has evolved out of a desire to define myself as a person and an artist and to articulate the kind of work I would like to do.

What is the creative context for the work?

I think my art piece could sit among work found in art therapy or alongside other contemporary Maori artists.  Virginia Winder (2013) publication on Reflecting on the value of arts therapy shows how important art therapy is and the benefits it has for those who participate and no doubt, the wider community.

How does the work relate to contemporary society?

I think a lot of people suffer from conditions like I’ve mentioned and have learnt to cope…or not.  Art is very cathartic and can alleviate feelings that can be overwhelming.


Fig 18. Aotearoa Marae (2017) Historical sites
Retrieved from

Fig 19. Navarro. I. (2009). ‘Death Row’
Retrieved from Accessed 4/06/2017

Ono, Y. (2007). – ‘Uncursed’
Retrieved from Accessed 04/06/2017

Evans, N and Farrell, P (2012). ‘Surreal Door Installation’
Retrieved from Accessed 4/06/2017

Baines, A (2013) “Doorways to Potential”
Retrieved from Accessed 5/06/2017

Clem Crosby – Motel (2015) Image courtesy Pippy Houldsworth gallery
Retrieved –


Winder, Virginia (2013) Reflecting on the value of arts therapy
Retrieved from

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