Out of the Darknessingredients: vintage book covers, vintage book pages, vintage watch movement, other found objects, feather, stitching, metallic oil crayon, graphite; 10.5 x 15 inches
"Art is a wound turned into light." ~ Georges Braque
I made this piece at a time when I was too upset to really think about what I was doing. I just started ripping stuff apart and gluing it on; the process was entirely intuitive. I know it expressed my desire and hope to leave that dark place and be healed. Perhaps when something important is lost, it can be replaced by something even better. I had to believe that. And I know that making this was a part of my healing process. Art has transformative power.
As someone who at one time considered becoming an art therapist, I found the whole process of making this piece to be eye-opening. Not that I haven't had experiences of art-making that were like meditations, like being on a completely different 'mental plane' than normal; but this piece was accompanied by a great release of emotion. Also, I have little memory of actually making it; I couldn't tell you what I did first, second, third, etc.
Art therapist and author Shaun McNiff says, "Like dreams, art works are surprising syntheses of elements on the threshold of consciousness that present themselves. The artist prepares the space and lets the controlling mind step aside. Artistic cognition responds and takes advantage of accidents, chance, lines, forms , figures, and interactions that emerge "unwatched." (Art as Medicine: Creating a Therapy of the Imagination")
Though I never purposefully set out to engage in any sort of therapy (as I didn't here), sometimes it just turns out that way. Does this ever happen to you? I'd be interested to hear what other artists think about this.