While going through my cleaning and rearranging, I came across a paper that I had written for my Comm I class during my brief stint at a local business college. I keep getting so many compliments about my writing that I’d thought I’d share this with you guys-even though it’s not mental health related, per se, I think it’s important to put this out there for people to read.
Now, let me preface this paper by saying our Comm I class got to go visit the Herron School for the Arts downtown. The students had put on an exhibition and we were VERY fortunate enough to go and see all KINDS of art. There was one piece in particular that I found so fascinating that it instantly spoke to me, just like Blah’s post about Mark Rothko. I don’t consider myself an “art person” but when something speaks to me, I become engrossed in it, and I try to dissect it, pick it apart and see what the artist was thinking when they made their work. This is about a piece of clothing, constructed out of a heavy, rough fabric. It had a choker around the neck with a buckle clasp, three straps across the chest and the rest of the “outfit” was tightly constructed, looking almost like a corset or straight jacket in the way it was so tightly bound. But here’s the interesting part-it has a train on it, and on the inside of the entire outfit were bright white feathers. Just think about that for a moment.
Here is what I wrote about this piece.
An artist can convey as much or as little emotion as he or she wants to express though a particular piece of artwork, or in a series of pieces. In an untitled piece, Emily Sterger told a story about being a woman with her artwork. Simple, yet complex, brilliant and bordering on the absurd, strong and independent yet bound by an outward appearance. She make it look as if a woman was bound within herself.
Using fabric that looks and feels almost like a burlap sack, Emily was able to create a tight, constricting look , with straps make of leather and steel locks. The fabric looks rough, intimidating to touch. The three straps made the piece look cold and sympathetic to a non-existent person. Also, Ms. Sterger used the fabric to create a choker-like necklace, almost using the look as a collar, as if someone is or again, bound to someone or something.
Underneath the harsh exterior, was something that was quite confusing at first? Beautiful and brilliantly shocking white feathers were attached to the underneath of the burlap type material. The feathers made the piece seem even more soft and approachable, almost. The look of someone being bound by an outward appearance, but underneath their bonds, they are very comfortable with themselves. One person can see a woman bound by marriage, or motherhood, or a friendship; the woman see herself comfortable in her own skin. A mother loving her children, being strong on the outside for them, and knowing when to be tender and merciful to them. A wife taking care of her husband and their home; being his outer strength and is inner weakness. A best friend holding hands through an emotional trial, and being the door keeping the bad and evil out.
Ms. Sterger was able to create a piece of art that is so bold and subtle in its message, that I could only stand before it in all of its beauty and amazement and really wonder to myself, “How in the world can one woman really capture so many different angles of a woman with such grace?” Being branded or bound to some people is scary and uncomfortable, but to the person perceived as bound, they are comfortable in their own skin.
I got an A on this paper, and finding it has shown me that I DO have a gift with words. I see the world differently than most. And what I see…