By Vikki Parker
Original post date – May 10th 2018
A gentle insight into my point of view… on myself, life & my work
Painting – ‘Inner Shout….Outer Whisper’
Vikki Parker © 2018
My art is the whisper, the space they never suspected. It speaks loudly now and will not be hidden. I used my art to tell the truth in hidden ways so that the threat of punishment was never triggered. It symbolises my own journey to find a voice and sanity within a tangled web of control, my mental health journey and finding ways to save myself. It is the seed of my commitment to offering the work I do so that those who are also voiceless can begin to illustrate their inner worlds and plant their own seeds for healing. I help brave hearts to transform their mental health through the arts.
The metaphor is the medicine.
Art is an act of loving observation, ‘it has the power to render sorrow beautiful,
make loneliness a shared experience and transform despair into hope.
It has the ability to capture our pain and deliver us from it at the same time.’ Brene Brown
Women…. this is for you. Mother and your mother…. now is the time.
In her book ‘Playing Big’ (2014) Tara Mohr discusses how ‘the inequality of men and women has left internal effects. Over generations it shaped how we think of ourselves and what we see possible for our lives and work’
‘It shaped our fears – fears of speaking up, of rocking the boat, of displeasing others…. it caused women to develop a number of behaviours that enabled them to survive in environments where they had no legal, financial or political power… behaviours like: conflict avoidance, self-censoring, people-pleasing, tentative speech and tentative action. The internal legacy of external inequality.’
When I say ‘they warned me not to shout’, I refer to any kind of communication that would overtly burst the silence and shatter the game of a Narcissistic father & a co-dependent/ suicidal mother. So I whispered. In the spaces. I learned the power in the silence. I waited.
We are hardwired with an inner critic, the aim of which is ‘not to be accurate. The aim is getting you to avoid emotional risk’ (Mohr) It triggers fears of embarrassment, rejection, failure and pain. My self-doubt isn’t normal developmental self-doubt, it is paralysing and pervasive, but it is a construct, designed by another for the purposes of control.
A wider patriarchal message bolstered by a pathological message. This was my external experience.
My internal survival response was to freeze, in time, shocked into compliance, guarding my essence, watching. When I say ‘I whisper’, I mean I sought out the ways I could breathe into my life force, for no matter how safe the freeze, life will not give up on you. It finds ways out. It found the arts.
In the harsh world of my childhood I played the role, but I always knew it to be as such. I always knew:-
I am not the critical voice. I am the person aware of the critical voice.
I am the painter of my new inner landscape.
I am the writer of my new internal script.
When we sit with ourselves through the art we allow ourselves to reveal our point of view to the world. We do not see things as they are; we see them as we are.
‘The world doesn’t make any sense so why should I paint pictures that do?’ Pablo Picasso
When we sit with ourselves within the art we give ourselves permission to reveal our inner landscapes. The shapes, sounds, movements, images and voices that populate our private worlds are illustrated and brought to life, and the intensity of their message is held and validated in the art.
It is in the process of creating that we negotiate the blocks within ourselves and we navigate our way through, gently and lovingly, honouring all that we are, allowing ourselves to be witnessed.
We cry out to the world ‘this is within me’ and we let the art hold our hand through the witnessing.
We are holding our breath, until that moment when we are seen and heard and in the presence of a loving ‘audience’ we may exhale.
Art is a revolution within yourself and an invitation to own your right to be here, just as you are.
The art is a sacred space between us where we may both step back and observe the fire and protect ourselves from the burn.
And I stepped
Into the space
And I didn’t know
If my heart stopped
Or the wind rushed
As I lay bare
And I bathed
In the fire
Of my truth
Vikki Parker © 2018
As the artist I pledge to share my personal mental health story through my work, to plant seeds for healing, understanding and inspiration in others.
As the curator of heart-centred events, I pledge to serve the community through my work, to provide opportunity for others to engage in and witness the arts to transform their own mental health.
Where are you speaking in whispers?
Come & Discover the landscape within you.
Take this opportunity to allow yourself to engage in the arts for your own wellbeing.
Brighton Creativity & Wellbeing Week
June 4th-10th 2018