'Theatre Of The Grotesque No. 2: Borehole' by Michelle Driver

2019, hand woven tapestry (wool, cotton, linen, x-ray film) - 43.5cm x 45cm (17.1" x 17.7")

We tend to view 'barbaric' practices of the past with horror, but we are living in a grotesque world of our own, in which those who live outside the norm are vilified and emotionally tortured.

I created 'Theatre Of The Grotesque No. 1' as a way to use vintage medical imagery as a metaphor for the harsh reality of our society, which appears open-minded, but is wanting us all to conform to the status quo.

Watch these television programs, get married, have children, wait until you die.

I will not conform, my artwork will not conform, my medium will not conform.

As a side note, trepanning / trepanation has been used over the centuries for various reasons. In ancient times, it was used to release evil spirits. In the early 20th century it was used as a precursor to the ‘orbital transit’ lobotomy, and in the 1960s was revived as a rather extreme method of getting high. ‘Bore Hole’ by Joey Mellen is a cult book detailing the practice of self-trepanation.