Gentle Reminder: Series title 'Paper Cuts' (Gentle Reminder is No.2 of eight)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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Paper Cuts No.2 - Gentle Reminder
H42cm x W30cm
Work on paper (mixed media)

This artwork explores the personal-disconnect of email communication, the trend for adding "gentle reminder" to subject lines can come across as passive-aggressive because it implies that the person being reminded has already forgotten or neglected to do something they were supposed to do, and the reminder is a way of pointing out their mistake. In some institutions, the term "gentle reminder" may be used repeatedly, which can make it feel like the person is being nagged or talked down to. A classic passive/aggressive example that is often used to communicate a message in a way that is meant to be subtle or polite but can still come across as critical or confrontational.
The illustration takes the work ‘Gentle’ and visually renders it as massive and solid, with ‘reminder’ created from a brick wall pattern from an envelope. That is crumbling. This cliché in email communication can be an obstacle to effective communication. The small figures at the bottom represent the invisible recipients of this kind of oblique communication, that unintentionally adds more and more pressure.

The series of eight collages are titled 'Paper Cuts'
This series explores the impact of language on mental health. Created through a
combination of collage and drawing techniques, they bring attention to the passive/aggressive phrases and words that are often used to bully and blame individuals. The works feature a clash of cartoon-like imagery and hand-drawn text, highlighting phrases such as “being resilient” and “gentle reminder” that can be used in a harmful manner. Similarly, as technology rapidly evolves, so too does the absurdity of the language we use to describe it. This language is parodied to highlight how it can make us as humans feel anxious, out-of-date or redundant. The series encourages open conversations about mental health and challenges the notion that individuals can be ‘fixed’, which distracts us from attempting to create a more equal and supportive society. It’s a call to action to rethink the way we communicate and to understand the power of words.

Jac Batey is a contemporary artist from the UK. Her work explores the complexities and nuances of British life through the medium of artist’s books, printmaking and collage. By utilizing humour as a tool, she reveals the absurdity and beauty of everyday experiences and the shared humanity that connects us all. She is drawn to (and draws) the intersection of visual communication, illustration and mental health. Her practice focuses on the use of visual narratives and visual interludes as a means of addressing mental health issues, as well as the use of drawing as a research method and coping mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherPale Ire Press
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


  • Illustration
  • art
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • Language and misuse
  • Humour
  • satire
  • gentle reminder
  • illustration, authorship, literature, artist's book, learning & teaching
  • drawing

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