Nothing You Do is Good Enough: Series title 'Paper Cuts' (Nothing you Do is Good Enough is No.3 of eight)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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Paper Cuts No.3 - Nothing You Do is Good Enough
H42cm x W30cm
Work on paper (mixed media)

High workloads, changing tariffs and requirements can result in toxic working environments. For some, league tables, negative feedback culture and constantly changing goals can result in a feeling of ‘nothing ever being good enough’. This environment can become demotivating and lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and even helplessness. It can also have a negative impact on our self-esteem and confidence, causing us to doubt our abilities and question our worth as a human.
The comment "Nothing You Do is Good Enough" featured in the collage is an exaggerated and obvious statement, but it represents the inner voice that many of us hear in the face of constant minor daily critiques. The collage aims to highlight the impact of this type of negative self-talk and to draw attention to the damaging effects of toxic work environments on employees. In the artwork it’s a small duck, who is wildly inappropriate for the job, and is being bullied, this uses humour to illustrate how we can be made to feel completely inadequate.

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 This language is parodied to highlight how it can make us as humans feel anxious, out-of-date or redundant.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


  • Art
  • Mental health
  • Language and misuse
  • humour
  • satire
  • drawing
  • depression/mood disorder
  • illustration, authorship, literature, artist's book, learning & teaching

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