Monday, November 22, 2010

Expressive Arts Carnival November Entry

I have mentioned the Expressive Arts Carnival once before (in this post) not long after I found this site through another survivor's blog. Each month there is a theme or activity which is posted and survivors are encouraged to create a piece of artwork or creative writing based on this project.

This month the activity is:
Draw a wall using any medium, and show what is on one or both sides. Please also write a couple of sentences saying what the process was like for you.
 Nadia and I worked on our entry together, which has been really interesting for me as it's the first time that I have collaborated with one of my alts in anything. Here is our result:

This was drawn first in pencil, then with a felt tip pen and then later it was scanned into the computer and the colours were added digitally. Nadia wanted to have the globe & vines coloured so as to separate them from the wall, to have it stand out.

The mask is the wall, on one side is us (my alts & I), on the other is the vines, rose & globe which are meant to represent life & the world.

Working on this has taken a long time, not only because of the collaboration but also because the Chronic Fatigue made it hard to work on this for any length of time. To get it completed and in on time is another  accomplishment for me, the first being working with Nadia.

I keep coming back to the idea of masks - have done for years - the idea that we let the world see us one way, not allowing others to see the real us. I don't know the number of times I have put a smile on my face and told people around me that "I am okay" when I have felt like I am falling apart inside. Even when I have been honest and let people in I still only show glimpses - I feel I have to protect others and that by being completely honest and open I will hurt them with my own pain.

As we worked on this submission the same thought kept coming to me: Is it that the mask is keeping the world out (protecting us) or is it keeping us in (a cage), preventing us from living life? I am not sure the answer but it is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.


Paul said...

Thank you so much for submitting. And for the effort you put into it. I'm glad it was an opportunity to work with one of your insiders, a first you said. That's great. And I'm sorry you've had to push through fatigue to do it. So, I really appreciate that you did it. It will be a great addition to the carnival.

There are so many layers here. Many people use walls as proxies for masks. You have both. The way I think of it is that we use them for protection but also it holds us back. I don't want to read into yours, but the obvious thing that came to mind was that since you are using both, you get the extra protection, but the extra holding back too.

Thanks again for submitting!

castorgirl said...

This is stunning... The use of masks is so interesting in survivor art. They tend to be such a powerful metaphor for how we feel and perceive ourselves.

Take care,

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