The recent deaths of two celebrities by suicide made me take a look at myself and feel some deep internal curiosity. I have a relationship with ideations of suicide. Despair and grief are heavy burdens to bear, even for the most courageous of us. People who put themselves in the spotlight are taking a risk and making themselves vulnerable to criticism and rejection.
I am reminded of an art show of mine that garnered a review so scathing I was left feeling devastated. I had never acquired the tool set necessary to withstand the complex emotions surrounding criticism and feelings of rejection. The spiral of ‘post- exhibition blues’ and fear sent me into a crisis of confidence that triggered my predisposition to depression. In that state of mind, I can understand why someone would make the choice to end their suffering.
So, where does hope come from? For me, it comes from real human connections, people who are willing to accept my limitations, while I accept theirs. Aristotle suggests that the philosophical foundation of a friendship is the art of holding up a mirror to each other’s soul. Creating and maintaining deep relationships is an art form, full of beauty, drama and courage- including the relationship I have with myself.
While that disparaging review sent me reeling, through wise counsel, I was able to be more honest about what was happening in my work, what that review meant, and how I could find belief in myself again. In the process of recognizing that, I began my current body of work, hand-sculpted white-on- white creations using gallons of luscious paint. I craft pieces of intense femininity that speak to what’s inside all of us – ecstasy, hope, vulnerability, and craving divinity.
I am a creative force that won’t be stopped. In celebration of still being here and the power of resiliency, I invite you to a new show. Please join me at Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery on June 15th at 6pm for an art opening where I will be presenting my current body of work. To those of you who are reading this part of my story, directly or indirectly, the hope in me sees and honors the hope in you on this wild ride called life!