Each participant was free to explore raw feelings, truths, and new stories of a new life.
The women in the workshop broke down one form to create another using old jeans, junk mail, and embedded found materials into the pulp, narrating stories with imagery and words, and in the process there was a kind of catharsis - In
a place of emptiness and incapacitation, there was a space created for fullness and competency, changing past pain into future strength. The
transformation of materials from one form to another symbolizes the potential
healing possible with this project. In the words of Lily Yeh,” creativity and beauty are powerful agents for healing and change.” Knowing how to
articulate what we think and feel is a journey toward recovery for ourselves and the world.
The workshop culminated with an exhibition of the work to coincide with Zonta Club’s International campaign to end violence against women. The participants of the workshop had a space in the main gallery, Downtown Artery, Fort Collins. The paper that the women made became sculptural and truly contained hours of hard work, revelation, and a commitment to the healing and art
Embodied in these works are the raw feelings, truths, confronted closures, and transforming stories of a new life. In the process of making paper, there is a kind of catharsis experienced as one form is broken down and changed into another. In a place of emptiness and incapacitation that frequently accompanies abuse, there is a space created for fullness and competency as past pain changes into future strength. This transformation of materials from one form to another symbolizes the potential healing possible with this project.
Born from my own personal experiences, this project began from a desire to bring the healing power of art to single moms from our community. When a woman gains the language of her own story through art she has a new ability to transform how her narrative can enrich her life and her choices. My intention was to provide a safe place to create a sense of renewal and discovery. This can then enliven and inspire a re-building of a life from past trauma.
In the words of Lily Yeh,” creativity and beauty are powerful agents for healing and change.” Knowing how to articulate and express the difficult feelings and thoughts associated with abuse became a journey toward recovery for the women who participated in The Mending Paper Project. These women were invited to create, unencumbered and gently guided, within an environment of support and encouragement. The women discovered their voice, value, a rapport with each other, and perhaps a sense of togetherness to offset perceptions of isolation. Never in my dreams could I have understood the magnitude of which abuse has plagued the lives of countless women. It was astounding for me, and an honor, to glimpse a little of the transformation of these women in their courageous, graceful, and beautiful “mending” steps towards wholeness. -Rachael Davis, Nov.25, 2013