Implementing discarded/overlooked mementos and moments I stumble upon has been an integral part of my art-making process for many years. It’s not that I’m cheap (albeit undeniable), but that I’m respectful of The Earth and of the journey of individuals whose voices have been demeaned, discarded, and/or marginalized for one unjustified reason or another… including myself. Offering such materials and digitally captured, fleeting moments of newly dignified life and collaborative voice not only gives me joy but has become significant to my recovery process after numerous debilitating mental health episodes, two heart attacks, enduring long-term domestic violence, evangelical indoctrination, car crashes, cancer surgery, and parenting adolescents.
My work since the COVID closure of my art space has become more digitally based, while the need to express myself through art and use art as a means of understanding my world has never been more pressing, profound, and poignant.
Although I was assigned the female gender at birth and subsequently fulfilled that role to the best of my ability, I was never comfortable with the cultural definitions of womanhood. I saw myself peering out from behind this “”window dressing,”” not in envy of the perverse cultural definitions of manhood (for which I have measured disdain) but with both longing and confusion.
My art expresses that Jungian quality of femininity, in its nurturing emphasis on introspection, balance, and compassion but also Jung’s masculine “protector/provider” in its righteous indignation and call of duty. My duty, as an artist, is to honor my unique journey, to seek justice, and raise awareness by following the advice of performing and literary artist Ruth Gordon who said, “To get it right, be born with luck or else make it. Never give up. Get the knack of getting people to help you and also pitch in yourself. A little money helps, but what really gets it right is to never — I repeat never — under any condition face the facts.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Self-identifying as a neurodivergent, two-spirit, elder storyteller, and contrarian deeply rooted in the roar and lore that’s become Portlandia of The Left Coast, The Artist attributes success and survival to superlative supports, mindfulness practice, and daily creative expression in words, sounds, and images. Currently, their visual works are represented by The Siy Gallery of San Francisco while the literary ones fly in and out of email boxes, on and off of calendar pages in search of empathetic agents with which to brood and progressive publishing house upon which to roost. Although raised agnostic in the oppressive shadow of dominate, amoral older siblings, it is a years-long immersion in a partiarchal, evangelical cult, subsequently liberating divorce and mental health journey that has influenced the mindfully holistic, spiritual path and work of The Artist.
OF NOTE: The submission entitled “”She Subdues The External Chaos”” was declined by a regional arts & cultural council (acquirer and facilitator of art for public display), indicating the inclusion of “”sword imagry”” might be “”triggering”” and the council’s mission demanded it be “”trauma-informed.”” The Artist’s history of domestic violence and PTSD aside, they assert their belief the controversial and thought-provoking may lead to healing conversations… the indispensible and persistant work of square pegs to subdue the external chaos (and maybe to stir up a little shit in the process).
© Lindsey Morrison Grant