2016 DOONEY LIVES
“I went mad. I went bankrupt. My father died. I spent years in a private psychiatric hospital. I came back.” – Dooney Lives No. 1, 2016.
Dooney Lives is an ongoing autobiographical series told in bite-sized pieces, inspired by a long engagement with social media. My first major text-based work (and first public artwork), Ten Dicta For Young Women Who Are Artists, is a set of polemical interventions. In contrast, Dooney Lives is intimate, diaristic, raw and revelatory.
Together, the works in Dooney Lives form a fragmented narrative that begins after a long period as an inpatient at a private psychiatric hospital, where I received intensive treatment for bipolar disorder.
The expected life story of a woman like me is simple. Burn bright and go down in flames, consumed by insanity. The End. I refuse to accept this as the story of my life. Too often, I’ve been compared to women with talent and intelligence who succumb to tragedy. But I will not be anyone’s Camille Claudel or Sylvia Plath.
Living on one’s own terms is an act of defiance. Dooney Lives is both a declaration of intent and a voyeuristic invitation to watch me.
Hazel Dooney, 2016
COLLECT Dooney Lives
New works are added to the Dooney Lives series each week. If you would like to collect one or more works from this series, details are available here.