Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Story Costumes

































The velvet clothing is evolving into full costumes, costumes that will be covered with stories. I'm struck by Eckhart Tolle's notion that each of us has a "pain body" made up of past hurts. We all have these hurts - it is part of the human experience. And the ego defines the self with these stories. The ego wants us to hang onto the pain. Tolle encourages us to be observers of our stories, and in so doing we can separate from them - have a separate self that is not defined by the stories, by the pain. Artmaking is a grand way put our stories out there so that we can observe them. So it seems that this project is about stories. My personal story, others' personal stories, and more archetypal stories - from the bible, from fairy tales - all revolving around the topic of relationships between men and women, and the psychological, emotional, and sexual connects and disconnects that form these relationships.

Yesterday in the studio I pulled out a project that I had started last winter then put on the back burner - a triptych about Beauty and the Beast. This imagery is connected to what is starting to happen on the costumes. I think that I will be making some sort of diorama or stage set for the four figures. And the number four is beginning to make sense to me. Much of my story is my parents' story, and two arenas where the number four appeared in my partents' lives is the barbershop quartet (my father sang barbershop) and the square dance. These were areas of happy creativity for my parents. But there were not so happy secrets in our family, that were not unlike the dark side of a fairy tale; secrets that betrayed the cheerful naivity of the old barbershop songs and the gay colors of the swirling square dance skirts. Secrets that have fed my pain body.

Louise Bourgois says to accept yourself and then you can start to have a conversation. This project is that sort of conversation. I'll write more about it as it unfolds. This post is helping me to verbally process what's going on in the studio. This is important, for once I'm in the studio, I am in the zone.

4 comments:

Susan Beauchemin said...

Whoa--Get on that horse and ride!!

Jeane said...

this is the real meal deal Martha! - art at its best.....my wv is ingest - exactly....

Martha Miller said...

hey, sue! yup! yup! giddyup! i remember when i had my chart read a few years back the astrologer said to me, you need to get on that horse and ride it hard!

Martha Miller said...

hi jeane

thankyou so much! when i'm in this zone it feels right, but when i look back at it i sometimes start to second guess myself and wonder if anyone else can connect with it. your feedback is so appreciated!

ingest! love it.