I had the opportunity to stand with my art in public.
This time however, it wasn't connected with my story in speaking out about abuse. It was just my art and me.
The background story wasn't the focus, nor was the revealing therapy exposed.
Just surface level artistry, or it seemed, the 5% of me showing.
The pretty part.
And, I was judged in a way that I hadn't been before.
By my art. Period.
Just fabric and design was to be the judge of who I was.
Those who came didn't mean to appraise me this way, but my art this time was the subject, not abuse or art therapy or women empowerment.
And, I was just the lady who sewed.
My life, it seemed didn't go beyond the sewing machine.
"Are you the artist"...."Where is the Artist"...."You are the real deal"
My art and I, were seen so differently.
I felt weird to be the 'artist'. To be accepted or rejected by what I did, or more, by how they liked or didn't like my art. Or, even if it passed the test of being art.
With each individual, I had the opportunity to pass or fail, depending upon their experiences of Art.
When my Art came before Me and my story, I felt that I personally, was not in control of it being art. They were.
I and my efforts, were secondary to the outcome.
I am not sure if I can articulate this correctly.
But, my art mostly has been shown along with the deeper story and my journey of healing from sexual abuse and my art has been my companion in a very loving way.
It has been with me in the dark times, the times when I didn't know who I was or how my story would end.
Art showed me, I would be okay, long before I knew. It expressed the most beautiful parts of me, even in our first attempts to dance together. The small, frozen shadow of a woman, drew from me - excitement.
(Art created between 2005 - 2008)
My art drew me out.
The me, that was barely visible beneath the life of denial.
Our intimate journey, has been one where I followed my art. Figuratively and emotionally.
My art was my guide.
It wasn't art, in its usual sense. It was the vehicle I used to express and find myself.
I was almost forced to art, by how I wasn't able not to do it.
It was my peaceful place to reside when my world was upside down.
These early Ladies were my becoming.
The dialogue between Me and Me.
To now place the Art as a flat image seems so surreal, when it has been a soul in fabric.
An earlier piece, with great energy, movement and aliveness. Is this art? Who cares, to me it gave me more than I could ever give back.
Me, the artist?
No, me the receiver of inspiration and esteem.
It dared me forward.
With colors, design and challenges.
It has been the backdrop of my journey.
The heartbeat and knowing.
And, yet not the story.
It held the story.
Art has been my nonjudgemental friend. Always succinctly meeting me exactly where I was. I couldn't fool art and be more than I was. It pulled from my subconscious my value and emotions and self-expression.
Is this true in all artists?
I can't know.
Art for me, hasn't been art, but the leader out of darkness or into it.
It has been the explorer and the explored.
The greatest value that it holds is me.
My wellness is stitched in so many seams.
My thirst for hope, peace, love and joy... shout from the colors and designs.
I see Me.
Coming from denial of self, art was the mirror of my soul.
Who are we, my art and I?
Artist and art?
We are so much more than that and then just that.
My journey in fabric, the artist and her Art.