• The Kiss
  • Tree of Life
  • Cats
  • Fisherwoman
  • Tredmill
  • The Fall
  • Self Portrait
  • Adrift
  • tunnel of love
  • Blind
  • Doctor Doctor
  • Funny Funny
  • Return of the Soldier
  • Working painting for 2008 paintings gopalkrishnan
  • Working painting for 2008 paintings gopalkrishnan
  • Carl Gopal in his Northbridge Studio 1999


Stockholm Syndrome

A Studio Exhibition 2001 

All text and images on this website are Copyright © to Carl Gopalkrishnan 2019
Stockholm Syndrome remained untitled for years. It is a collection of paintings I did not exhibit in a gallery. Instead I held an open studio exhibition in Melbourne above a shop selling bad, fun, Italian furniture. Lots of personal story I can only skim over as it belongs to me.  Like wading into the ocean and feeling the currents around your legs. All acrylic on canvas paintings.  
The title says it all. We can become so used to abuse that we become afraid to let it go.  In many ways, by the time 9/11 punctuated the end of this phase., I was so shattered by events in my personal life, that I accepted the changes in the world as a continuation of that broken masculinity that our military thrives on. So this phase was rather dark, and I took a break from my art for years and at least a decade from exhibiting. 
Today, domestic abuse in LGBTIQ relationships and sexual assault of men is acknowledged.  in 1999, there were very few services. Today still, family violence is still considered a gendered violence. Many men across all cultures, nations and incomes would disagree. The military's hyper-masculinised culture of violence supports sexual violence and encourage men to see sexual assault as acceptable. In these paintings, I recorded the first year after I lost my entire sense of self worth and became a shell of my former self. All the vibrancy of Carl drained away.  
I must have protected something, because today I am someone different. It took me a long time to appreciate this new Carl, and to acknowledge the traunas that have shaped who I am today. In my advocacy day-job I feel great empathy for refugees and migrants who are escaping military violence and anyone who has been abused by an authoritarian, bullying mindset. Anyone who is unfairly treated. Anyone who wants to create beauty in the face of war, ugliness or racism.
These years pushed me into work where I hope I have helped communities. It's been amazing. I have met people I would never have met had I remained in the fashionable bubble I glided through before. God has been my rock, my healer and my best friend through all of this, and I paint from this Spirit still. So I am thankful to the lesson if not the teachers in my life, and them the same healing that has sustained me. But I do not seek to prove my sainthood in any way by repeating my mistakes.     
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Sexual assault information for men (WA)
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