Paris C.

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Artist Statement

Affirm and Contain

Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper, Yarn and Beading

For this art exploration my primary goal was to create a ritual and a routine to hold myself and my client’s experiences. I began weaving my basket with specific colors of yarn as representation of the feelings coming up for me in response to what my clients share in sessions. I began basket weaving as a tactile art piece that provided softness in the yarn, repetition in the motions, and containment both figuratively and literally in the nature of its basket shape. As I continued to intertwine my yarn with my letter beads, I found myself feeling a sense of release after long days of holding my clients and some of their most traumatic life experiences. I discovered the process of weaving and stitching those thoughts or feelings into my basket allowed me to stop holding them in my body. Thus my containment basket had taken off. In addition to allowing myself to let go of these stories, I also discovered the need for additional affirmations, especially around my compassion and care for myself. Healing work requires a lot of compassion to flow outward as well as inward. If I do not spend energy and time designated to my own rest and preservation, my ability to provide for others will lessen. Learning that caring for myself is caring for my clients has been a rather large learning curve for me over these last three years, and will continue to be lifelong work. Through these practices of containment and affirmations from my art this semester I have supported my own process immensely.