On the advice of my tutor I am acquainting myself with Louise Bourgeois. I have started with the new publication that includes the volume ‘The Return of the Repressed’. Given how I’m feeling at the moment it is encouraging and heartening to find A Real Artist who refuses too to be blinded by cover-ups. The writings in this volume find a resonance in me. She feels ‘that her art needed no words, no explanation, no defence.’ (pg 9) This is not art made to sound clever or be explained into existence. She underwent many years of psychoanalysis. ‘Her art would inform her psychoanalysis, just as her psychoanalysis would transform her art. In her art no less than in her analysis, Bourgeois aimed at that “restoration of the self” which Heinz Kohut defines as the goal of psychoanalysis.’ (pg 10)
My therapist often talked about the finding and restoration of the authentic self and to be honest I didn’t really have a clue. When I looked inside of me and imagined myself a container I saw an empty transparent glass void. How can you create out of nothing? How can you draw forth on emptiness? Yet somehow we can. Somehow with help the tints and shades in the glass start reflecting forgotten likes and dislikes – what we came to call ‘Project Me’. Now I am post-abuse, I work on discovering this emergent self. It was at my therapist’s prompting that I considered doing a textiles course. Sometimes I couldn’t bring her any words, or symbols or any ‘me’ so I would make something: a broken limb made out of clay, a puppet that had lost it strings and crumpled… these were my baby steps to using art to express. Now I cannot detach the two. I love the intellectual process of this course, but I am growing me through the artistic exploration. When something appears in front of me that I have caused into being I cannot deny my existence. When something is created because of process I put it through, I can see the action of my hands even if I feel invisible.
With the encouragement of Nina’s response I won’t shy away from an exploration of the wrapping concept. I shall remain curious about the whys and wherefores. My anger is obviously some kind of defense. Time to see either what I am guarding myself against or to craft that defense into a symbolic expression and use it.