Just writing the word transformation is magical. I imagine a butterfly making its way out of a wrinkled brown cocoon and beginning to move its wings, fluttering them open, letting the air dry the bits of moisture clinging to those tissue thin filaments. That's me--the butterfly with the tissue thin wings. In a matter of months, I too will be making a transition out of my role as a hospital art therapist, and into that of studio artist.
In my last post "Circle Game," I was circumambulating (playing around) the topic. Until I had made my departure official with my manager, I didn't want to mention it in public. No coming out of the pupa before you're hatched! So, although I waxed eloquent about the ways in which we look forward to events, I didn't say that my return to the studio full time is what I'm looking forward to the most. I think that I will always be an art therapist because I can't separate the act of healing from making art, although, believe me, I've certainly tried. It doesn't work. I'm just very lucky to be able to reset the balance.
Making the Countdown series allows me to process this change and make it explicit. As I create rows of circles, gluing them onto the panels, each circle represents a passing of time; a month, a day, an hour, a minute. Each measures a period of letting go.
And yet, as I make each part, I find that I have to retrace my steps constantly. As I enlarged some of the circles, then discovered that they didn't work, I created more circles, and as I glued them down, I realized I'd forgotten to change the ground beneath them. I had to take up those circles as well and replace their backgrounds. The whole process is rife with metaphor, as it should be.
I like this challenge. Every time I come up to the studio, I tell myself there are no mistakes and each step forward is the gateway to the one after that. How else can I learn?