Monday, September 2, 2019

Freedom Flowers - a Visual of the Effects of Patriarchy on Men and Women

If you want to just look at the images and their titles without the rest, go for it. Just keep on scrollin'. 

These are essentially anti-patriarchy, and pro allowing everyone to be fully human. Upon looking at these, I realized that perhaps I need to expand this to include nonbinary people. So many of my daughter's friends are non-binary. They deserve to be represented too. 

I did all of these in pastel back in 2016,  if I recall correctly

A Girl's Soul

I had listened to a talk by Dieter Uchtdorf about how women weren't forgotten, so I did made these for-get-me-nots using pastels. The whole tiny little flowers thing reminded me of being small and little, and suddenly it felt like a little girl's soul I was working on, with brightness and innocence but hidden darkness, unseen. It was hard to remember the cheer of girl-hood.

A Woman's Soul

Then I suddenly just had to do the soul of a woman, what happens to this flower? And all the darkness surrounding it, and all the pain and suffering being a woman in a culture that blames us for when we are abused or raped, even when it happens when we are children, and how it's like we lose our center, and all the blood, and pain, unable to see what the flower was originally. 

I showed it to Robert, my spouse, and he said it was beautiful. I told him the meaning and he looked at me and said, it's still beautiful, even with all that. I hadn't considered that angle, and it really touched me deeply. I told him the titles and the link between them (I was still not quite believing it was beautiful), and he asked me to make one for boys. I was stunned. So I did.

A Boy's Soul

I thought about what flower to use to represent boys and the daffodil felt right to me. They're bright, and cheerful with their little outie centers, and they stand up tall. I made it in contrast with "A Girl's Soul" since boys are afforded so much more opportunity than girls, but, I had to remember, that hidden corollary darkness was there, just a lot harder to see. 

A Man's Soul

Creating sharp edges, must be strong, with a ray of light for hope, and darkness around and within, yet somehow also on top of the world, though emotionally gray - boys don't cry, forced to be blunted, yet bold and daring, with a lot more symmetry in the orange lines.

I showed the two to Robert, and when he saw "A Man's Soul" he got quiet. After a moment, I asked him, "Did I get it right?" A heartbeat, then "Yeah." He went back to playing a computer game. It felt strange to do this since it wasn't my lived experience, but I got it right, at least for him, and that was enough.

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