Sunday, May 20, 2012

Breaking Dawn

After a long break from blogland, (one imposed on myself) the reason being that I've to finish my Masters dissertation, which speaks about artist and the creative process, by reading and critiquing Margaret Atwood's novels. The title for my dissertation is a funky one, "the female artist as postmodern shaman: revisioning myth and subverting identity". However much I love painting, this thesis has been in the way and I needed to get it done once and for all. It took me a little more than half a year, and here I am, after a long period of hibernating with words, journals and writing, I'm back to my first love - painting.

The feeling is one of immense relief ..... I just felt like sighing for a long time after a stressful period of reading academic journals day and night. I love literature, I love words, ideas, stories, don't get me wrong. But it's alot of head knowledge and I'm starving for heart expression. It's not that word can't do that. But in the academic world, they're not looking so much for heart knowledge. Even if it does, it must be put in an academic way to persuade that it matters. So all this time I'm in my cave with my thesis, I'm longing and longing for the freedom of expressing the unknown with paint- colours, strokes, shapes...

And I've just handed my thesis in, even though it's not yet published, but it's in the final stage... (so now I can finally rest my overfried brain, and fatigued body and mind) hehe, pardon the drama queen within me!

I'm exploring a new style of expression! There's a lot of play with multilayering and playing with the dancing movement of colours and being organic and in the flow! I'm loving it so far. Painting is healing for me. I realized if I paint, I don't need to sooth myself or indulge in comfort food. I think I'm naturally very sensitive and so making art is a great way to channel all the excessive energy and nonsensical moods!

So this new work, "Breaking Dawn" is an artwork about breaking out from the shadows of the self and being seen out in the world, and allowing myself to not know all the answers, to be ok with doubt and insecurities, to be ok with multiple choices present to me at the same time, to be just ok. With the messiness that is call LIFE.

There was FEAR (as expected by the perfectionist side of me), so much of it, before painting, during painting... of where the new style might lead me. This artwork is made up of several layers, each one foreshadowing the next one, each one supporting the next layer, each one allowing the next one to emerge and appear while also humbly allowing some elements of itself to be sacrificed...  Isn't this so much like life, the past allowing the next phase to emerge as it fades into the background, the old gives way to the new, without death there is no renewal of life.

I was just amazed by how art and life is intertwined, the lessons I am learning from art shows me my life, and my life also shows up in my art. These two are intimately interwoven.

I'm really excited about this new phase of my life that is showing up after I graduate from my Masters in English Literature. Excited and scared. To be precise.

I'm signing up for MA in art therapy in Singapore, and I'm praying, hoping, dancing under the rain in trance (this one obviously exaggerated) so that I may get in. I've a good feeling about this. Art is healing, there's no question about it. The question is, how do I support a living doing art and teaching the public how much benefit one may reap from creative expression? In a world increasingly complex and perhaps hungry for that soulfulness because it is so severely lacking, will art be one of the answer to come back within? Yes, I would love to work with the marginalized community, autistic children, senior citizens, but unless ordinary people like you and me have risen up to regain the soul from art-making, art as therapy will remained exclusively reserved for 'pathology', but its potential is far more than that, it is an access to greater spiritual heights and depth, a tool to raise awareness and for self-discovery. It is, from the most ancient of times, a tool to access the gods, and these gods are just the highest potential of us waiting to be accessed and explored.

I really envisioned a world where people consume less and create more. So we've more happy and authentic people and lesser shopaholics!

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