I deeply believe that what we’ve experienced, what we’ve heard from our parents, peers, grandparents, teachers, what we’ve seen on television and during a trip to a forest has built us. It’s created the truth about life - about ourselves, about the others, about love, work, belonging and individuality. Stories repeated by grandmothers and grandparents and the way they are told – e.g. as acts of heroism or as quietly whispered shameful experiences – all of it builds a set of truths and beliefs and co-creates the society. Our stories influence the way we think, what we say and how we act.
I would like us to be aware of what we pass on. The messages have a great power, as far as we know that we have a choice in what we “put” into our lives, and choose those stories-truths that enrich us and know which stories should be „hung up to the wardrobe”.
In my artistic work, I use the experience of a therapist and a communication trainer. All the time I experience the importance of stories lived in childhood. They “work” inside people, whether they are 15 or 48 years old. How does it impact our lives if we were called “a wonderful child” and how it affects us if we heard that we were “different”, “like no one else in the family.”? How do the first experiences affect the perception of femininity or masculinity? How does collective experience of work, otherness, society, creativity, children influence what we do, what we think about raising children, what our artistic creation looks like...
It is amazing that when experiencing, we think that this little event is individual, it has not happened to anyone else and it is unique to us. This may be accompanied by a sense of alienation and / or shame. Experiences are collective and discovering that a similar story happened to another person might be healing. It invites us back from the isolation into the community, to belonging.
It was even before my first book had been printed that I met 7 other women who as children were afraid of becoming a saint, just as I was; one woman whose parents took away the money she got as a present for the first communion and 32 people who were licking batteries in their childhood. I had a belief, as a child, that those were absolutely and absurdly unique experiences. Back then I wasn’t so open to talk about them or put them on the walls in galleries – something I decided to do at the age of 34.
It is important for me to look again, or for the first time, at what drives us, consciously or unconsciously.
To convey this, I choose a “light” medium - drawings, comics, cartoon tales. I print stories and drawings on clothes, posters, patterns. I hang them on the walls, put them on the plates, hang them on clothes hangers, and finally make books out of them. The way of displaying them is consistent with the entire message. These stories are within us, we are dressed in them, they hang in our wardrobes, we carry them in our bags.
It depends on us what we choose to take, to wear. What we decide to invite into our own lives. I encourage people to share their memories, to explore the memories of the others and to create with me a monument of remembrance.