Post-graduation, the realities of not having access to printing services and hand-held power tools at my fingertips put me in a bit of a funk. However, these last few months have been vital to reassessing where I am in my art practice, and how these decisions impact my healing journey.
Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and instruct both senior citizens and high school students in drawing and painting. The personal low lows that have occurred in a less-than-predictable pattern for over a decade were interrupted with the sunshine of teaching these vibrant communities. You can see the strange abstract paintings and even realistic studies that have resulted from this time on my instagram at hrpeebles.
My personal practice lately has been a mixture of floating bodies in paint, opening up in writing, and selective reading. Gabrielle Civil’s Swallow the Fish has been giving me a lot to think about, in terms of identity, freedom, and my interpretation of art.
What’s become clear in spite of the constant cloudy state of dissociation is that the steps I had been taking both inside and outside my practice (although I question the level of division between my life and my work) to heal from sexual violence were overtaken by giving to others. Giving energy and not receiving what I truly needed to keep moving forward. Or taking energy that so many others desperately need, even when given freely. See: emotional labor.
I am at an important crossroad in my practice and in my life.