A Decade of Reweaving
For many years I have been on a path of rediscovery, digging deep into my past, exploring each question and awareness with the full-on intention of healing and opening to a clearer vision of myself. It was in 2005, however, that I started creating artwork that directly related to each awareness, using the powerful combination of written and visual art to better understand the obstacles and transform them into nuggets of wisdom.
That art was for me. It tells the story of my transformation. It was never to be shared really. I just wanted to become a more whole human being so that whatever I did, those pieces and the wisdom they represented were behind me and within me. Those images are my foundation, my stepping stones, my guides, my portals to the sacred. My portals to me.
In July of 2015, I had an opportunity to share some of my artwork at Wunderkammer Company, an art gallery and community-building center on Fort Wayne’s near south side. I sorted through several options on what to show during this time, but kept coming back to the past decade’s body of personal artwork and writing. I could see the full story form as I reviewed each piece in succession and it felt pretty powerful to me. So finally, I stopped sorting through the options and just took the plunge to share myself fully.
I realized that I couldn’t separate who I am at my core from what I shared with the world any longer. You see me, you see them. You see them, you know me. It was a little frightening and very exhilarating to ‘come clean’ so to speak.
Each original goddess that had been created over the last decade was numbered 1 through 10, telling a piece of my transformational story. And each had an accompanying collaged piece that I designed for the show, also numbered 1 through 10. The theory was that if viewers resonated with any one of them, they could see themselves in the pieces’ mirrors or poke their faces through the openings to embody the essence of that goddess. For this reason, each was named after its original with ‘I Am ________’ to enable it to be embodied.
I discovered that I really love what I’ve created – in art, in life, in me. To share it was to thrust that love out into the world.
The exhibit was dedicated to Ilene Satala, my art mentor and friend, who is no longer with us in the physical world, but can be felt in each of the goddess art portals that were on display. And to my collective of artist friends who witnessed every step of this transformation. They listened and honored, asked the tough questions that made me dig even deeper, and made what felt incredibly awkward most of the time seem perfectly normal and awesome. I am so grateful to all of them.
And I am grateful to Wunderkammer for their openness that allowed me to exhibit what felt right to me without limits.
Some images of the show are below. First a panoramic of the entire room with all 20 pieces. You can click on the image to make it a big larger.
Close-ups of each starting with #1 – Babushka Madonna and I Am Babushka Madonna – a print of the original on plywood with a mirrored center.
Here is I Am Babushka Madonna reflecting Mysterious Madonna, another piece in the series that hangs across the room.
#2 – Modern Madonna on the right and I Am Modern Madonna on the left.
Here is I Am Modern Madonna reflecting Athena across the room.
#3 – Mysterious Madonna on the right with I Am Phenomenal, her mirrored match, on the left.
#4 – Ancient Aditi. You can see the original oil painting of Aditi through the opening of I Am Aditi that hung in the middle of the room. This was a very popular goddess to embody and many folks took photos with their faces in the center. Fun!
#5 – Kali: The Persistent Visionary. The original oil painting is seen through the opening of the I Am Kali collage that hung in the middle of the room.
#6 – The New Eve of Guadalupe. She is visible through the opening of the I Am Eve plywood collage that hung opposite her in the center of the room.
#7 – Sacred Blending on the left and its accompanying collage mirror, I Am Love, on the right.
#8 – Lady Magdalene on the left with her accompanying I Am Lady Magdalene on the right.
Here I Am Lady Magdalene reflects The New Eve that hangs on the wall across the room.
#9 – The Red Spider Goddess on the left and I Am the Red Spider Goddess on the right.
It was so fun to watch folks enjoy the interactive nature of the show. And it was a wonderful experience to share my story live. There’s something very grounding about telling your story out loud. It becomes more valid or real; anchored. I’m so grateful to the folks who came out to Cheryl Spieth Gardiner’s Women Wonder and Joy happy hour evening. There I spoke about letting go of structures – beliefs, perceptions, patterns – in an effort to open to joy.
And my Decade of Reweaving personal story was shared with a slew of wonderful people who listened intently and provided great support. A video of this lecture can be found on my YouTube channel. Please note that it is self-made and thus not the very best quality. Next time we’ll do better! Enjoy!