This is the second image for my new series about fears and secrets. After talking to people who were willing to share, one recurrent theme was the idea of wearing masks…masks that hide our fears, our emotions, and even our true identities. We all wear different masks at one time or other. The mask that hides our sadness from others and presents a happy exterior. Masks that hide who we are and portray what people want to see about us. Masks that hide our fear despite our outward appearance of confidence. The self basher, the control freak, the martyr, the bully, the people pleaser……we wear these masks to keep us from being hurt, and vulnerable. How do you feel about the face that you are portraying to the world. It is exhausting constantly trying to pretend to be someone we are not. Why are we so afraid of being authentic?
I have been working on a new series. It is centred around the idea that we all have fears and secrets that we keep hidden from those around us. Hidden because we are ashamed, or worried about how others may look at us. Hidden because they are so painful, and we just want to keep them out of our thoughts. Hidden because we are afraid of what might happen if we open Pandora’s box. I reached out to a handful of friends asking them to tell me some of their fears and promised to react without judgement and promised that their secrets would be between us. I was overwhelmed by the responses. Some hit me so hard that I was overwhelmed with emotion. Gut wrenching emotion. Here is the first image.
Creating this image was almost an out of body experience. I didn’t intend on creating this at all. In fact, my original idea was nothing like this. During the creating process, I just let myself go with what was happening without judgement. Without thinking that my original idea was a complete fail. Instead, I embraced whatever it was that was going on. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the end result, but I am processing the experience of it’s creation. If you consider that candles can be seen as symbolic of light in darkness, and when you look at the way that they have been used by hundreds of cultures, their role is one of illumination. It is interesting that they have, in fact, been seen as illuminating the spirit of truth. When I look at the way the figure is portrayed, she is angelic…spiritual. I wonder if it is a way for my subconscious to tell me to have faith in myself?
Every Friday morning, you’ll find me at Orange Theory, not only working on my physical self, but my emotional, and spiritual self. Coach Terrill @coach_terrill not only motivates me to push harder, and run faster….he motivates me to believe in myself. He challenges me to look myself straight in the eye. In between my gasps for air, Terrill talks about building yourself up. He talks about believing in yourself. In one session, he said “to achieve what you want in life, you have to build your belief in yourself.” So simple, yet so true. I was doing errands yesterday, and I saw this little boy who had so much confidence in himself as he strutted around the store and I was reminded by Terrill’s words. As children, we have big dreams, we want to be super heros, doctors, artists…the options are endless, and we whole heartedly believe that our dreams are attainable. But then, we go into the big, bad world, and it starts beating us down, and we often get to the point where we have little or no belief in ourselves. Believe me, I have been there and occasionally get stuck there, beating myself up for not being this, or not achieving this. We all need a little Terrill in our lives, reminding us, that “what doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t change us” and that you need to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that you can accomplish great things if you believe in yourself. Everyone goes through periods of self doubt, and personal struggle, and wanting to quit, but the key is finding ways to persevere through those things and inevitably overcome them. I wish I could bottle up his weekly motivation, but I guess in a way, his repetitive message that you have the power to build yourself up, has been ingrained in my brain. So, thank you Terrill for inspiring and encouraging me to always be better version of myself than I was yesterday.
When I am creating my images, I take a lot of photos. Only a select few make it to the next round, and from there, a small percentage are edited and from there I decide which images to include in a series. I thought I would share some of the images that didn’t make the final selection for one reason or another.
I thought that I would let you all know if a few of the events that are taking place in the next few months.
The ARTIST PROJECT starts this week. Thursday is opening gala which is always a great night. I will be in booth 136 this year.
Show runs Thursday Feb 21 7 pm – 11 pm. WAAAAYYYY past my bedtime
Friday Feb 22 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday Feb 23 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday Feb 24 11 am -6 pm
PETROFF GALLERY is having a very special exhibition celebrating their women artist for the month of March. Opening reception is March 3 from 2-4 pm. Artist will be there talking about their work and the women that inspire them.
PAULA WHITE DIAMOND GALLERY will be showcasing the work of their new artists (like me) in April. Stay tuned for details
ARTWORLD will be participating in the Contact Festival again this year. I am honoured to have a SOLO EXHIBIT “My Secret Roller Coaster” showcasing some of my newest work. Exhibit will run May 4-31 and the Opening reception is May 9th 6-8 pm. A portion of the exhibition sales will go to the Toronto Distress Centre.
34 years ago……February 15, 1986, the day that changed my life forever. It is difficult to grasp that 34 years have passed since finding my mom’s body in the garage. February 15 is always a difficult day for me. It is true what they say that time heals many things, but it doesn’t ever heal the loss of a loved one. That stays with you for a life time. It does change over time though. You are able to fill your heart with joys, laughter and happiness most of the time. But, for me at least, once a year, I go back to that day, a day that I so vividly remember and feel a much less intense sadness, but sadness nonetheless. I thought that this photo was fitting to share since it is the very first photo that I created as I began to explore using photography both as a therapeutic tool and a form of expression.
If I am honest, it has been a hard winter trying to stay motivated and positive when all I really want to do is stay in bed, under the covers. I have been struggling with how to capture the idea of letting go of the well negative cloud that can feel like follows you around all winter, but for some reason, I pictured a black kite and not a cloud. Kites represent a sense of freedom and by cutting the string to this black kite, I am hoping for a feeling of freedom from negativity and an early spring wink wink.