It was surprising even to me! In abstracting the female figure, I realized that several sculptures that I had made over the years had just a hint of a mouth, a mound where it would be but no distinctly formed lips. What was THAT about? Where was the place for my voice to enhance the beauty of my pieces? Did I believe that it was superfluous rather than an integral part of my statement? When did I become complicit in silencing my voice?
Childish rebellion burned from my core and scorched the clay in my hands. Sitting in the studio with mirror in hand, I playfully sculpted intimate views of my mouth, working with passion and purpose until the embers were just smoldering…eight plaques in all. Fellow sculptors walked by and giggled as I stuck out my tongue, pursed my lips in a grimace and a kiss and bared my teeth in disgust. I was having fun as I sculpted a forum for my voice.
Never again would I co-conspire to be silent! A woman’s voice is important. Everyone’s voice is precious.
When I moved away from New York, I opted to leave that sculpture in my house. I didn’t need it anymore. I had faced my demon and vowed to honor my thoughts and feelings. I didn’t need the reminder that I was free to speak from my mind and heart. I brought that freedom with me while the sculpture stayed behind bringing a smile to someone else’s face.
Preserve your voice! It’s important to me. I hope that it is to you, too. Please share!