The 20 Painters Within An Artist With Multiple-Personality Disorder
Her alter egos include a bulimic teenager, a child frozen in time, a religious woman, and a gay man.
Kim Noble is a British artist whose home studio is filled with artworks done by different painters. As she walks around the studio, she finds newly-painted canvases from unknown artists with different styles. Although people swear to her that they witnessed how she painted those canvases herself, she holds no memory of doing such thing. That’s because Noble is an artist with multiple personalities whose works have helped her identify the many artists within her. The mental illness that Noble has is called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a mental disorder caused by severe trauma that splits a person's identity into several alter egos. In Noble’s case, she can identify 20 interchangeable people living in one body, and at least 14 of these have showed a talent for painting.
Kim Noble painting at her home studio.
Patricia, Noble’s current dominant personality, is aware of her condition and has worked on categorizing the different paintings created by all the other artists. It all started when her therapist suggested she dedicate some time to painting, hoping it would help all personalities conciliate. Her works –or their works– have been exhibited at galleries like Zebra One Gallery
in London, where they raised funds for The Mental Health Foundation with artworks of other artists with mental health problems like Noble's. What makes Noble’s works so interesting and touching, is the uniqueness and style each painter shows in each canvas. Because of her condition, she is unable to clearly state the message transmitted or who did what exactly, but Patricia is able to track what each painter does just by looking at techniques and themes used in the illustrations. These are some of the
works by each personality:
As mentioned, Patricia is the most dominant personality in Noble’s body. She is the one people usually talk to and the one that looks after Noble's daughter. She holds no memory of the past trauma that led to the splitting of all the alter egos. Her paintings are delicate and soft, often illustrating landscapes.
W Green Desert
He is a 20-year-old gay man whose style consists of a messier and more abrupt technique in which he leaves thick layers of acrylic paint to form faces and bodies. He is unaware of, or confused about, all the other personalities sharing Kim's body.
Dolcare / Whatever
Mimi is a young girl who makes soft and childish paintings, usually landscapes.
The Hills Are A Live June
The mother figure who raised Noble’s daughter. Until a couple of years ago, before Patrica took over, she was the most dominant alter ego. Her style is more abstract and uses different figures to compose her works.
G Robot Couple / C
She was named that way by the other personalities because she hasn't revealed her name. She depicts spiritual and mystical figures, usually with thick layers of white paint over dark backgrounds. They resemble flying women, or fairies.
Age Of Circle / On The Edge
Uses simplistic, single-tone backgrounds to highlight her realistic illustrations. She is fully aware of the existence of all the other personalities, as well as her identity disorder.
Tears of Shame / In The Distance
Her style is very distinctive, sometimes making references to pop culture and soccer. All of her paintings have a geometric, rustic background of earthy tones, like orange, brown, and yellow.
Ria’s paintings are disturbing and very graphic. She creates images of children and women being sexually abused. Probably, she is one of the few personalities who remembers or knows the reasons that caused the trauma. Her illustrations are not liked by many, but that’s because she illustrates the darkness of her past.
Daisy Chain / Pratt 4 Max / Shocking Pink
Judy is another personality who got frozen in time. She's a teen who suffers from bulimia and sees herself as overweight. Her paintings reflect loss and sadness.
Tears Imprisoned / Str Tuned Shrunk / Banksy
This artist is known for using only the colors red, black, and white.
This personality is distinguished by her
black and gold paintings with Kabbalah symbols.
There are other personalities whose works haven't been identified by Patricia. One personality in particular, has asked to keep her paintings as private. Her name is Salome and she is a very religious woman. All of these painters live within Noble's body, the mother of a 20-year-old woman who was almost taken away by social services a few years ago. Noble’s life is as fascinating as her works are. In 2010, Oprah did an interview with her where she got to meet Patricia, Ken, and Salome but back then, there wasn’t much interest in her works as a painter, just her condition. Noble, 50, was diagnosed with the disorder in 1995, when she was 35. She had been admitted into several medical facilities due to issues like anorexia and suicide attempts. Through art she has found a way to heal and a place where all her alter egos can freely express themselves and conciliate. Some of her personalities, like Bonny and Patricia, fear going away forever and never being able to see her daughter again. She wrote an autobiographical book called All Of Me
, where she expresses her pain and frustration, understanding her mental illness. For more on her work check out her website.
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