************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Inner World: Expressive Arts Carnival Submission

Paul at MindParts has been putting together the second Expressive Arts Carnival. For this carnival he gives an art therapy assignment and anyone who chooses to participate can submit their finished artwork to him. You can read about it here.

The short version of the assignment: To create a piece of artwork that portrays an abstract version of my inner world.

I don't do well with abstract. Knowing this, I was worried about doing the project at all, but Paul said not to worry about that aspect of it... just to create an image of my inner world. So, my piece is not abstract - not in the way it would be defined in the art world. What I've done here is a symbolic reflection of what I feel inside using a very concrete "door" metaphor.

Below is my solution, which I entitled "Going Inside."
(click on the image to see it larger)

Each door represents a part of me. Some are strong, some are beautiful, some are faded, some are beat-up and beat-down, some stand wide open while others are barely ajar and still others are solidly closed.

Maybe one day they will all be open. For now, even those that are open all the way expose mostly shadows and darkness. In this drawing, light represents awareness, so the darkness means that even though the door is open, I know I am not totally aware of what lies behind it.

The rainbow door in the front represents the face I show the world. It is the part I would most likely refer to when I say, "Me". It is multi-colored, free-floating, and emits it's own light. It is semi-transparent, letting other doors show through as they need to, but it is also large, strong and closed to represent the boundaries I've been working so hard on for the last couple years. Near the bottom of this door, a piece is missing. This is to represent the way other parts come through, sometimes without the rainbow facade even knowing.

In the back, there is a massive black iron door with large bolts. It is mostly obscured because it wants to be. Behind it are parts of me that remain hidden.

The door in the top center with the green light shining out through it's slitted opening is the one behind which physical and sexual awareness hide. That door is still mostly closed, at best. In times of stress, it slams shut. Stress makes me shut down in a way that leaves me totally unaware of my body sensations. For instance. yesterday I forgot to eat all day. I was not aware of hunger. Only when I began to feel rather faint and head-achy, around seven pm, did I remember that I hadn't eaten. Unfortunately sex is stressful, too.

There are double-doors which represent the two sides some parts seem to have. These seem to be closely associated with emotions like fear, sadness and anger. One of these double-doors might open to handle a situation one way. Other times, the other door might open when a different approach is necessary. Occassionally both doors open at the same time. For the most part, these doors remain closed until needed, and I'm still not certain if it is preferable to have none, one or both open.

There are single doors which represent the simpler sides of me. Specific qualities, assets and talents are behind those doors.

All in all, I'm happy with this representation. I'm glad I put this together because, although it's been in my head for a while, it has clarified some concepts for me to put a picture to the idea.


Today's Link: Blooming Lotus - Children Don't Have the Option of Saying No



  1. great, shen! i really enjoyed reading your description too, thank you for sharing this.

    i thought it was interesting, given what you said each door meant, that the green light from the abuse door shines onto the doorknob of the rainbow door.

    fascinating work and inner world, shen~ i'm glad for you that you have been building boundaries and it sounds like you're feeling more security and confidence these days.

    wishing you well~

  2. It is interesting how things are in may head that must be drawn or sculpted. I am working on setting up this winter so I can do just that.

    I see the door that is all but covering the other as a screen. I must look through or around this screen to see the other doors.

  3. Thankyou Katie... I do want to clarify - the door with the green light shining from it is not an "abuse" door - it represents the healthy physical and sexual sensations that are shut down in me because of abuse. If that door were open it would mean I would be completely aware of my body and what it was feeling. It is closed because of abuse.

    Yes, overall I am more confident and secure, partly because I am learning how to handle my own inner selves in a more constructive, cooperative way. Not having to be so completely reliant on C and others for security is a good thing.

    Michael it sounds like you can relate well to the door metaphor. I look forward to seeing the artwork you create next winter. I'm sure it will be unique and creative - just as you are.

  4. I'm most struck by the lighting. The shadows, the colors. Awesome! Thanks!

    (And very sorry to read about what your father did in that newspaper letter. As someone said there, it speaks volumes about the man).

  5. Thank you Paul - for the compliment and the condolences.


Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment.

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.