My work in this series seeks to explore the dichotomy between beauty and pain occurring in human experiences. This series represents the interweaving of our relationships, their complexity, repetition, overlapping, wounding, healing, transparency and opacity.
The pieces are built out of the deceptively ordinary material of sheer adhesive bandages. A bandage is used on the body to protect a wound from further harm and to allow the body’s natural healing process to occur. The connections we form with others have both the capacity to create wounds and to heal them.
I am interested in the intricate ways we attempt to insulate ourselves from experiencing psychological pain. When we withhold, lie, and are in denial a layer of defense is created. Sometimes this layer can be deceptively beautiful despite the trauma below. These pieces relate to the layers of protection that we build over time to mask our experiences.
The physical process of creating this series conjures up the image of a school nurse placing bandages on the children that file into her office. As I work on a piece a pile of bandage wrappers grows besides me. I am reminded of the stories I have been witness to in my work as an art therapist when children, adolescents and adults describe the visceral moments when psychological pain caused by another has touched them. Using the bandage in these works symbolizes the action taken by a compassionate adult to a child, placing a bandage on a wound. It conveys, “You are in pain, let me make the hurt go away, this will protect you and make you feel better”.