Every year in West Philadelphia the local community puts together a Fun A Day art exhibition. The premise is that participants will engage in something they love each day in January and somehow visualize it to share with others. At the beginning of Febuary, everyone gets together and puts on an exhibition showing each other's accomplisments. I usually just go and see what everyone put together, but this year I decided to be apart of it! Winter is typically a rough time for me so as I was thinking about just writing a poem a day and displaying the poetry in a visual format somehow. It's something I know I would be capable of mentally. After I started writing them though I realized that for me, poetry is kind of an self portrait of my mindset at any given time. Writing helped motivate me to paint , so I ended up experimenting with a montage self portrait project.
The project is actually fleshing out to be something I'm really interested in pursuing! I hung the work up as an in progress piece and hung it with an explanation statement, which I'll post below.
"This is a collection of paintings, consisting of personal mantras, original poetry and imagery to make up a personal reflection of myself. I am painting very magnified, and I hid within some textural components my own person mantras that help me cope with my struggles with anxiety. Poetry is something that I can create on a daily basis with little stress or pressure, so I also included in the montage self portrait, my poems with layers of related meanings and words behind them. The poems and mantras make up the skin tone in between each painting. I hope that when these works are completed, the viewers can walk away from this piece with a better understanding of themselves while also feeling connected to others."
I also made a cute little poetry book with affirmations included and handed them out for free at the exhibition. I'm thinking about making poetry books to sell here on my website. Maybe I'll even bind some handmade books with paper I've made myself.
There is definitely more exciting news to come, as I am trying to run an art workshop related to body image and self care, and I have other larger paintings I, working on also. So stay tuned and thanks for checking in !