During the course of my life, I’ve found that I am not alone in this struggle to have a voice. One woman who stands out, who recently died in NYC at the age of 99, devoted her life to the development of the process of her artistic voice. Growing up just during the first World War and seeing the damage it caused to her father and family, she understood that her needs were based on the trauma she endured when her father returned home after the war. Severely injured, her mother had to endure the infidelity of her father with their nurse. Depicting her mother as a huge spider, she discovered that she became free when giving form to her emotions. From a quote from “Louise Bourgeoise, An Unfolding Portrait”, her major philosophy was, “Art is a guaranty of sanity” (Page 11)Bourgeois fought against despair with a fierce will and directed her formidable intelligence to comprehending her emotions. Art was a tool, and making it was empowering. It allowed her , she said, “to re-experience the fear, to give it a physicality so I am able to hack away at it. Fear becomes a manageable reality.”…For much of her long life she dealt with anger and aggression, guilt and anxiety, depression and loneliness.”
Ibid., p. 20, With her outpouring of highly original forms, closely aligned to emotions brought to the surface and examined through psychoanalysis, Bourgeois demonstrated a newfound confidence. She gave no thought to stylistic consistency. Hers were not forms generated from other forms, but from changing states of mind. As one art historian has noted, her work has a psychoanalytic logic and that logic would continue to unfold for the rest of her career…Although it ( her analysis) was not curative in the deepest sense, it provided a pathway. It led to the startling breakthroughs of the 1960s and beyond..”
This association I have with Louise gives me a clearer picture of the necessity to keep creating and understanding the inner self, with even multiple parts…and encourage these parts to get along in a more harmonious and peaceful and powerful self. Thank you, Louise!