Friday, January 21, 2011

Expressive Arts Carnival: A Self Portrait

When I first read the activity for the Expressive arts Carnival I planned to submit Natalie's portrait that she did last year. However on the way home I started to consider the project and the way I view myself and I realised that this was something I really wanted to explore. As I spent more time contemplating the way I see myself I realised there was so much I wanted to represent.

I wanted to show how much hurt I still feel inside from my past; I wanted to show how fractured I feel living with DID but I also wanted to acknowledge how much I have achieved in healing and how much my self esteem has improved in the last few years. I was overwhelmed with how I could achieve all this in one portrait.

The inspiration for my self portrait finally came when I was reading one of Nadia's poems:

Staring in the mirror
We are angered by what we see
The reflection of a girl
A single face, standing in solitude
The mirror tells a lie

For a second the anger spills over

Unable to be contained,
The fist flies at the image.
The crash breaking the silence
Like a thunderclap on a calm night

Now the mirror lies in pieces

Shattered into a thousand fragments
Each containing a face of girl
Now we see our reflection
The mirror shows the truth

As well as showing how broken I sometimes feel with so many parts, I thought that the broken mirror was an apt metaphor for how the abuse has distorted my view of myself. I drew a number of drawings however none of them really captured what I was trying to portray. This is when one of my little ones suggested I try Polyvore, which they had discovered through castorgirl's artwork.  
Reflections: a self portrait
I am really proud of how this turned out, though it is nothing like how I originally imagined it. Despite this, I think it does capture all that I wanted it to. There are so many symbols in here of how I see myself I don't think I could really explain it all - I am not sure I understand it all on a conscious level anyway.

Having spent this time really looking at myself and the way I think about myself, I realise that I still struggle to not see myself as broken, as damaged goods. However, I am proud that a part of me is trying to fight that view and that while I still see the bad, I see good along side of that. I recognise that I am a strong, loving person, that I am creative and a good friend.


Evan said...

That's an incredibly strong image Kylie, thanks.

Paul said...

Kylie. There is so much pain here. But also, as you say, so much positive. Bravo!

castorgirl said...

This is stunning... there is so much imagery in the picture - the storm clouds, the sweet bird, the angel... so evocative and well done.

Yes, there is pain, but there is also hope in there as well. It's so good to see.

Please take care,

Shen said...

This is an especially moving self-portrait. I had to come and see what you said about it here. I can relate to much of what you say - and to the idea of not seeing in the mirror what I believe should be there.

An absolutely wonderful piece. You should be proud of it.

Kerro said...

I see the pain too, but also the hope. It's wonderful you can see that the broken feelings are not really yours. And you should absolutely be proud of yourself for fighting this. :)

MultipleMe said...

Thanks everyone fore the wonderful encouraging comments. They really do mean a lot.

Post a Comment