Creating Hope: “My Body Remembers”
Body Tracing: Mixed Media on Canvas
The body holds memories. It holds stories, relationships, secrets, and souls. Our life’s blood runs through it and is contained by it. We nourish and care for our bodies, while sometimes ignoring or even engaging in conflict with them. I strive to appreciate my body for what it can do and to show through color and design the ways that each part of me is forever and continuously imprinted upon by this life and the encounters of others. The dove is drawn to symbolize hope and purpose, a future of striving for peace and good. I am so grateful to experience working with adolescents with eating disorders at my internship this year. I am learning about clinical practice, showing up genuinely as I am, and making room for the stories of others. I am witnessing through art the ways they may be afraid to take up space. Our bodies are a work of art, handcrafted in mysterious and beautiful ways. Body tracings have traditionally been used to explore the boundaries of the body through different art mediums. I thought I would play with different techniques of using paint to playfully engage the more serious undercurrent of insecurity and self-doubt I may sometimes embody as an artist and as a clinician.
I have always loved creating portraits, especially self-portraits. They hold truths and capture moments in a way that changes depending on the depth of the process and how well I have surrendered to it. I wanted to challenge myself by creating a full body in my art work. I hope to further explore different media/processes and hone gratefulness and compassion in all that my body does for me. I am inspired by the wisdom of the teenagers I have met at my site and the creativity with which they embrace the world around them. To bridge the gap between art and the body can help them to embrace their bodies and their futures in that same way. This is the great work I am privileged to do - creating hope and encouraging how one can nourish their bodies while rediscovering the joy in creativity.
Quilted Wall Hanging: Perseverance
Slowing & Savoring
I look at this piece and I see aesthetically pleasing forms, knowing the many hours of thought and effort that hold the fabric together. I also see underneath the stars to the times I had to rip out all the seams and the many mistakes and frustrated emotions mixed in. I am proud that I didn’t give up and persevered to create a piece that will remind me to slow down and enjoy the process, to be present with constructing and deconstructing an art piece as needed.
This piece represents my desire to get out of my comfort zone and incorporate craft into my previously held 2D media artist identity. It was a rigidly held belief that I was not capable of crafting. I also enjoy getting close to my roots and the many generations of women before me who used textile craft making to show love to their families, build community relationships, and self-soothe. I am learning to be curious about the process over the product, while still appreciating the finished piece. This is where I believe my capstone foundation lies, to explore the growing harmony in myself as a craft artist and how that informs my work as an art therapist.
We all embody many different pieces in our identity and I want to be curious and open to discovering joy and connection in functional art making and how this translates to myself as an artist and clinician.