THE WOMAN ON THE TOWEL
My ambition (and it can be overwhelming) is to create works of art that have a memory for me and a purpose and meaning beyond the colourful and decorative...that transcend the visible. I strive to use the gifts of my life, my aboriginal ancestors, my energy, my skills and knowledge, my most private experiences, my progeny...to bring into being a legacy that will be important in some small way. . .this is my story (artist statement 2017)which in 2021 is told through the story of the Woman on the Towel.
The Woman on the Towel is a visual autobiography that speaks to the spontaneity of my art as life’s longing for itself. The early images that I have included in this exhibition show the process, how my inner woman speaks to me and how she appears when I least expect it: Blueberry Pickers, 1959, Oil on Canvas, photocopy print, my first painting created at the Memorial U. Newfoundland, art course after my traumatic birthing experience. This art course. was my impetus to continue painting .Becoming, 1983. Chalk on black poster paper. I fell in love with art and psychology. “I lost my head” to begin self-understanding, it was my impetus to becoming an art therapist. The Toiler, 1985. Acrylic on craft paper, created in my art course at Ottawa U. She shows the back breaking work it took to allow me to begin University at 50 years old which allowed me inner growth.
Mes Mères, 1985, Pencil on paper-scrap. A quick spontaneous sketch of mothers and pregnancy, which represents 36 years of my life as a childbearing woman, and I loved every minute. Les Bébés Les Limbes 1985, Acrylic on Sheet-Metal, Giclée Print. This represents me and my many pregnancies, I did not lose a baby, this one represents all those in limbo, since they died without being baptised and I still wonder about that superstition. The Woman on The Towel, 2020 Charcoal on faded towel appeared in late September 2020 when I decided to paint my Rock Garden, after sketching it in charcoal, I did not like the results. So, I wiped my canvas clean with this old, faded garden towel. The next morning, I picked up the towel and I saw the image of a woman. I immediately started to sketch her on my wiped canvas. It was a slow process, as I did not understand this woman, I also did not understand my resistance to creating her, to painting her. In November I moved my canvas into my studio to worked on it. The work was slowed down because of the Christmas season and in January 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and in February, I underwent surgery for a mastectomy. In March while recuperating, I continued working on the canvas image. I asked myself why did she come now? What does she really look like, who is she? Is she my ancestor, my mother, or my self? Did she come to see me through this life and death trauma? What is it about me that I am hiding? Is she announcing a longer life? Or a soon to happen death? Is she the muse of art bringing me the strength to heal? This exhibition is the result of exploring myself, my life, my health, through my creativity and art skills: collage, found objects; acrylic; watercolour; tempera; oil paint. Giclee prints, writing. The woman always came to me with the same message, one of hope and energy. Therefore, I decided to call this the Art Saves—Art Heals series. In Thailand I asked a potter to create the tiles that you see on each of these pieces.
ART HEALS – ART SAVES