Monday, May 23, 2011

THE Container Project.

My container is finished! What the f is that you say? Explanation:  In an art therapy class, I was asked to think of an issue I would like to work on. Then I was asked to think of a symbol that represents the issue and build a container of some sort. The container was to be a metaphor for therapy. I was then supposed to work on my issue through art and symbolism (staying in the metaphor) and create seven pieces that represented the stages of the therapeutic process AND they had to fit into the “container”.  Here is my semester long exploration of my issues through art. This is REALLY personal, so I’m going to be a little vague. (Yes, it is possible to be vaguer then I usually am.) 

This suitcase is entirely handmade. I built the frame out of masonite, carved the handle and feet, dyed the fabric orange and added the necessary hardware (D rings, hinges and snaps). I even brush painted the burlap and hand embroidered the flowers.

In the middle of this field there is a pocket on the side of a hill. This secret compartment containes the rest of the pieces of this project

Here is what's inside!

{...     click clack click     are you following me?    ...}
This is stage one: Identifying the issue. There is a quite in depth exploration on the reverse of this comic strip.

This is another little book with a slightly different format. Its about changing your (my) perspective on the issue. it folds into a cube and/or folds flat into a wallet looking book. This is what went with it:

 I close my eyes. There is a slam of a car door. I open my eyes and I am in my mom’s car.       Oldies, doo-wop, slowly become more and more audible. I look over and my mom is younger  with her hair blowing in the wind of the open windows. I become aware of where we are. We are driving through an endless field of dandelions. I am happy. Content. I look behind me, my sister is in the back seat. I smile. Behind her, through the back windshield, more  of the endless dandelion field.


This series of pieces was a very personal journey through a tangle of childhood trauma. This is about residual feelings, thoughts and a lens through which I saw the world that no longer served me but still had a huge impact. I didn’t mean for it to reach such depth, i didn’t even know what exactly it was at first. It just started with noticing a yellow Dandelion as a reoccurring theme in my life. Through this art making and meditative exploration of my "stuff" I watched the tiny, innocent, youthful yellow flower transition into a tall, large, mature white ball of softness. The flower didn’t go away, they never do, It just turned into something else. Someday, I hope to see the white fluff blow away in the wind.

So, when I started, the symbol was obvious, but deciphering what the issue truly was, was very difficult. I had to redo the first couple of steps several times and then the last couple of steps ended up being alterations to the first. So…there are not quite seven complete pieces, yet there are "leftovers". In the end, there was one giant sculpture-the transforming suitcase, three non-sequential paintings that I later realized fit together, two books, and a pile of letters and crayon drawings. Also, I got a tattoo during this process and when this project was all over, I did yet another painting that felt like part of it.


{It's hard to see in this photo of the oil painting, but there are dandelions in the background and a new symbol has emerged. The Cardinal...}
{My arm}
To be continued.

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