You’ve got to hurt before you heal.
– Bobby “Blue” Bland
This age of quarantining has meant that we are coming face to face with ourselves, especially parts of the self that went unrecognized. Jungian psychology asserts that we all have a shadow self—the unconscious, negative, aspects of us that we reject: our mistakes, our traumas, our darkness. When we reject these darknesses that are part of our story, we are rejecting ourselves. The works by these artists address a state of individual transformation, in which the artists reveal their internal struggles and their personal strengths.
Deborah Lynn Irmas
“Ininterrompue” (self portrait), 2019. Inkjet print on Japanese paper. 8” x 10”. Courtesy of the artist.
This series (Unbroken) has been a critique on a series of events in my life that led me to feel broken. My art allowed me to move through my feelings and eventually out of the darkness to “Unbroken”. Facing darkness and moving beyond is the soul of this art piece and the series from which it came.
A Mother’s Heart, 2018. Mixed media. 24” x 48”. Courtesy of the artist.
In this work I try to show a mother’s sorrow, wishes, trepidation and the darkness that she faces in her life.
Mother’s Hand .01 – .03, 2020. Eucalyptus berries encased in epoxy resin. 6.5” x 3.5” x 3”. Courtesy of the artist.
The gift of giving. The gift of life from our mothers & our Mother Earth. Even when so many things feel like they are being taken away, our mothers are always giving. These works are all created from casts of my own mother’s hand.
ECHO IN TIME, 2020. Mixed media; Acrylic, cactus fiber, wooden panel, 24k gold plated metal, vinyl. Treated photo paper, acrylic gel, iridescent acrylic, silver, archival black pigmented ink. 16” x 20” in. Courtesy of the artist.
Facing darkness is pushing beyond and the female figurative is about the empowered. The woman is the mother of humans and if she is facing darkness, we all will. These are challenging times and the need for survival is strong. We started with COVID-19 and now grapple with the issue of inequity as it relates to race and equality for people. This artwork is about the ups and down, the elements; earth, sky and water, the dragonfly brings attention to unbalanced ecology. The big old, worked and wrinkled hands to the past. The hand in the front is the future.
CONVERSATION, CORONA, PIE, PORTALES, VEHICLE, and WHALE, 2020. Acrylics and Ink on Paper. Courtesy of the artist.
To me, such profound times like the ones we are going through now, are always an invitation and an opportunity to go within, approaching it as something happening for me instead of happening to me. My work through art reflects how I relate to myself while going through different circumstances. It’s a conversation within my inner states, different levels of consciousness and my body through automatic painting, allowing those parts inside to speak through gestures, facing different aspects of myself, my shadows and perceptions of the inner and outer realities. In this manner, my work reveals information personally and collectively, beyond what I can see or express through words.
Deluge, 2020. Acrylic on linen. 89 ”x 57.5. Courtesy of the artist.
During this time of isolation and social distancing, my hectic schedule came to a screeching halt. It was a strange revelation when I found myself with almost too much time on my hands and a lot of time with my thoughts. As life paused and routines reorganized, I’d been gifted a unique opportunity to turn inward and to reflect on what this moment in history can teach me. This journey has not been easy as I faced my fears and met the darker sides of myself that can show up under stress and loss. I’m committed to walking this unfamiliar path and seeking the lessons this moment presents.
The Universe In Me, 2020. Acrylic, paper, marker, on canvas. 36” x 36”. Courtesy of the artist.
Avera Forza no.12 – no.26, 2020. House paint, acrylic, oil stick, oil pastel, pastel, crayon, colored pencil, graphite, charcoal on unstretched canvas. 36″x 45″. Courtesy of the artist.
I explored movement and I noticed that as I kept painting I went from loose work to tight work and back to loose work. Color started to creep into the work. I was “facing darkness “and finding my way out through my art. I have mixed various small works to create this quilt like storyboard.