Vivian talks to us ahead of her upcoming Live Draft about sustaining mental health and well-being in marginalised bodies.
Tell us about your idea and what led you to make it.
Mental health is a discussion that is often hidden from public spaces. Although we have taken great steps forward when it comes breaking down stigmas I feel that we still have a long way to go. I came to a realisation about my mental health when I visited the doctors and when I experienced a lot of social stigma at work; this forced me to think about my own well being as an act of activism – that is, to create my own care plan, one that embodies everything that makes me who I am, who I want to be and how I want to deal with my own mental health. So Performing DNA came about: the idea that I could create my own prescription without permission from any doctor or physician. I could write or draw, dance or sleep, drink juices or grow vegetables.
I am in control of what I choose to use as a method to support my own well being.
Tell us a bit about yourself as an artist.
My name is Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, sometimes Vivian Chinasa Ezugha depending on how I feel. I am a performance artist, I studied fine art at Aberystwyth University School of Art. I grew up partly in Nigeria, and much of what I know comes from being in an environment where body and movement was used as a language to communicate the uncomfortable and often difficult moments of life. I endeavour to explore the world through bodily experience. My work is my own politics, it comes from me but it extends out to the social.
What about Live Drafts are you most excited about?
I’m looking forward to being in a different space, hearing and seeing other bodies and opening myself up to new experiences.