So are these just pretty pictures?
‘Tears from my Soul are given wings to soar’
‘I feel I have journeyed to different parts of myself’
“Touched my Soul and I found my heart full and my eyes with tears”
These are some of the responses to my paintings by the women who came to my Soulscapes exhibition last November. Over and over women tell me they are touched by the beauty and stillness of the images, often they feel a welling up of emotion but don’t have the words to express why. I know why.
I know from what women tell me at the end of the retreats I lead. When these women connect with the place of beauty, stillness and wisdom within them, they wake up and feel the profound loss of this source of self nourishment and empowerment. Women’s power is her source of inner knowing, her deep womb/heart connection to the feminine creative life force of the Universe.
It’s this power that Patriarchy has strived to systematically dismantle over many generations, the loss is profound and has created the dangerously imbalanced world we live in today. Once a woman has reawakened to this connection there is no turning back and her journey of healing and reclamation begins. I know because my first meditation retreat, completely changed the direction of my life.
Healing the Witch Wound
My art is created from this inner stillness. It gives voice to the beauty of feminine creative life force energy, Shakti, that imbues all life on this miraculous planet. It’s been a long journey for me to recover my body and mind, to un peel the layers of conditioning that have shackled me. Yet still I am uncovering subtle shades of internalised patriarchal thinking that trap me in doubt and self censorship.
When the first goddess figures appeared in my paintings I was in awe but completely terrified of showing them publicly, even to friends who I knew would love them. The Witch Wound runs deep for many of us, in this irrational fear of speaking our truth, even though some of us have the privilege to live in a time and culture that no longer burns us at the stake for our beliefs.
Privilege and Freedom
Yes, I am very conscious of my privilege for there are still millions of my sisters around the world who are killed, raped and imprisoned for just being women leave alone for daring to step out of line! So my fears are petty in comparison and I realise my responsibility to use my privilege to make wise choices and stand in my truth is not to be taken lightly. My liberty was won by the countless women, like the suffragettes, who have fought and died to give me the freedoms I enjoy today.
I guess my first act of freedom and subversion was to chose to step out of the system that measures success by status, possessions and the contents of your bank account into a life of simplicity that values inner peace, conscious relationship and sustainable living in harmony with the planet. My body was falling apart with all the striving and my spirit longed rest in the beauty of the Devon countryside.
Now my art and my work with women is how, in my small way, I subvert the system that strives to keep us disconnected from the truth of who we are. Each time a woman discovers her beauty in these paintings and taps into her inner wisdom on a retreat she steps closer to liberating herself and joining the growing mass of other free women around the globe who are rising up in the fight to free us all.
For a few years now I have been contributing to TreeSisters a global movement to reforest the tropics and empower women in the process. If you feel moved to join this potent act of women rising to save our planet please click here.