A student recreated Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic painting The Night Café on her leg to help her cope with self-harm and depression.
18-year-old Amelia Hall — a student at the University of Manchester — wanted to create a beautiful painting as way of dealing with thoughts of self-harm.
“Self-harm is something I’ve struggled with as a way of coping with depression, but in the last few months I’ve decided it’s no longer something I wanted to do,” Hall explained.
“I wanted to find a more positive way of coping. This is why I chose to paint on my leg instead.”
Hall says she’s always loved painting, and it has been through this love that she found a distraction technique.
“I wanted to recreate a beautiful painting and do something positive to cope. Painting on myself is something I’ve done before and has always worked, and I know that drawing on yourself is an alternative coping method that is often spoken about,” says Hall.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, drawing on your skin can be a way to “cope with distress without self-harming”. A campaign called The Butterfly Project has been encouraging people to take a pen and draw a butterfly on their skin when they feel an urge to self-harm.
While drawing is a technique that works for some people, there are also which have been helpful for those experiencing feelings of self-harm, such as writing a diary or letter, listening to music, or phoning a friend.
“I know people who do similar things, and for anyone who hasn’t yet found an alternative way of coping, I would definitely recommend trying art,” says Hall.