This week I decided to draw.
I never know how my pictures are going to turn out.
I don’t really plan anything. I generally have an idea and start from there. I really enjoy working from a place of randomness. I think the way I approach making art is organic, from and heart and subconscious. In reflecting on my artistic practice, I have always worked like this, but until fairly recently I wasn’t aware of it. Another interesting point to make is that I don’t look into the symbolic meanings of all the elements until the artwork is complete.
I feel like that would cloud the authenticity of the work.
Generally I don’t like to explain my artworks; I like to leave it up to the audience. I was asked to put words with this picture in the hope it gets the message of healing and understanding out there. So here goes…….
I really felt like I needed to use a blue bird, at the time I didn’t know why, I just went with what my gut was telling me.
Interestingly blue birds are a universal symbol of happiness, springtime, birth and new life. The blue bird could be interpreted as a symbol of awakening, a new way of being and seeing. This morning I picked up my old journal from my first healing week, and it became quickly apparent that during my first stay at Heal for Life my eyes were opened, I was awakened to the possibility of healing for the first time in my life.
The second element I felt I really needed to include was a glass jar. I needed something for the blue bird to be contained in, like a cage or invisible prison….so a glass jar it was!
The female figure in the foreground has a blue bird perched on her outstretched arm, brightly coloured the blue bird is free to fly, but chooses not to. The smaller bird is symbolic of hope for the future. The thin blue threads tie the past and present together. It’s all one and the same, all part of the same person, integrated together, not separate at all.Although the threads of the past are still connected, they are only held on by thin threads of cotton. The thin threads of cotton are not restrictive for me future as I endeavour to move forward in life. The past traumas and memories will forever be part of who I am, they are coloured shades of blue to represent optimism, happiness and hope for the future. They are not strong metal chains holding me down to the past as it once was!
The needle and thread in the foreground represents the mending and recognition of past traumas and the idea that when it’s all stitched back together, it makes up part of who I am.
Another interesting thing I am learning about at the moment is the importance of respecting myself; mind, body and soul. In the past I was able to disconnect from situations as a coping mechanism and sometimes even now it’s easy for me to dissociate. The thin threads of cotton around the figure are like remindersof the importance of listening to the threads of the past, which may be a “gut feeling” or intuition as a way of honouring and respecting my own personal boundaries and my body. I am learning it’s important for me to recognise when I’m not feeling comfortable and voice it.
Interestingly, the black and white feather is symbolic of balance and harmony. Balance, harmony and inner peace is my ultimate goal. I have always liked feathers and they have been part of many artworks, however it wasn’t until recently I realised their symbolic significance in my own artwork and healing journey.
The mountains in the view out the window in the background represent the connection between heaven and earth. During a recent Sunday reflection at Heal for Life, we spoke about prayer and the significance of prayer in our lives. While I don’t pray or believe in God, I do believe in a higher power, that being the Universe. I believe I am always being shown things by the universe, but only capable to receive when I am listening and ready. Signs and symbols for me come in a variety of forms including finding circular leaves, green tree frogs and feathers or even songs.
Water has always been a calming force for me. During my healing weeks I found myself swimming in the dam almost every day, the water was very nurturing and cleansing. When I see or feel water I feel a sense of peace.
Until next week,
Big love & hugs,