Head Pain
by Dermot Mallon


My painting was a portrait of a woman with bleeding to her head. This was inspired by a woman that I had seen previously who was in a bike accident. In that instance it was physical pain, however, I thought the concept behind the painting could be expanded. The woman is obviously saddened, and the blood from her head could be interpreted as the representation of an emotional pain. The title of my piece is as such to allow for this ambiguity. I decided to paint the portrait in a minimalist style both in the amount of detail and colour. I think this makes the red of the blood have a greater impact.

All things considered, I enjoyed painting the picture, it does denote an interesting meeting with the woman; despite my incapacity to aid her medically.

Whole Person Care


Scott Weerasuriya

17 March 2011 - 13:13:48
"I thought this is a great piece of work. When I first glanced at it, I saw only an physically injured woman. It's not until I began to look a little deeper and examine her facial expression and the shadow that covers part of her face did I realise there was more to this painting that meets the eye. Really impressed at how a fairly simple painting could capture so much and leave you wondering what the head wound really represents."

Olivia Buckeldee

19 December 2012 - 18:30:23
"This piece of artwork had immediate impact on me. The contrast of the black and white drawing with the red blood puts initial emphasis on the injury. However, once you look closer it is clear that the initial injury is also effecting the woman since her expression is one of sadness. To me, this highlights the importance of holistic treatment of patients and how it is important for doctors to not only analyse what is most obvious; we must remember that there are often multiple levels that need to be included."

Olivia Buckeldee

24 May 2013 - 18:56:04
"Further to my previous comment, i will be holding a group discussion on this painting at my house next weekend. If there are any other avid 'Head Pain' fans out there please feel free to come along to my fun filled night. There will be quizzes, games and a monologue that I have written. Thanks, Buckzz"


29 October 2017 - 09:59:44
"Although this painting could be interpreted as literal physical pain, it's interesting that this could also be a manifestation of mental pain. I see this relating to the stigma towards mental illness which should be treated with the same if not greater gravity than physical injury.It is only when the mental illness manifests in physical pain that it has the impact on the viewer. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the use of red which has immediate connotations of not only pain but danger. "