The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
– Anna Quindlen

Art is simply one expression of something innate in all of us, creativity. When we allow ourselves to become oppressed, bringing violence into our lives the creative force can seem to disappear. This can distort and pervert creativity within the abused and the abuser. Both parties play a role in this perceived game of  manipulation, obsession, martyrdom and self-destruction which we can come to believe are the only means of controlling or undermining our adversaries, including our partners. Regrettably, the immense energy channelled into these lop-sided pursuits only reinforces the status quo of a fear-ridden patriarchy.

I spent years cheating myself in order to fulfil other people’s expectations and fantasies, becoming depressed, pessimistic and pathetic. All I could think to do was make something of my own experiences, dreams and fantasies, which in turn depended on a more honest appraisal of myself and the roles I’d chosen to act out  in my relationships at home and in the community. In a sense, each artefact I created became a step toward my own inner freedom. When we lose our fear of facing who we are or might be, our self-esteem climbs and affords us the courage to reveal ourselves to  others – that’s a profound, disturbing, creative process that can open the way of real communication between seemingly imperfect but more complete human beings. Then perhaps the ethos of history that inspired my work can truly be in the past, as in transformed, and we can stop dragging it around as emotional baggage. Art like history is a tool, not for looking back but looking deeper.