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“Communion of Saints and Sinners”
This piece relates to the theme in that we are all one, but we cannot sustain as a community unless we see there is something much bigger than we are. It has to be the “Big” that unites all of us, and in that center is where we meet one another. All saints are sinners and all of us sinners can be saints. We are all broken, together as one. We live within and work within each other through our connectedness. If we remain our own gods, we remain distant and we can never enjoy the community we dream of. The smoke fired technique was used to accentuate the marring and scarring in all of our lives. The people are gathered together communing around the Higher Power symbol in collective gratitude.
We are all fractured individuals existing within a vast body of interconnected brokenness. Each one of us has the burden of a cross, whether it be illness, addiction, abuse, mental disorders, loneliness, broken family, racism, etc. This woman is no exception. If she can acknowledge that through her transparency of her own wound experiences, she can help the path of healing for many others. It takes faith, hope and courage. If she chooses not to see and resonate with another’s cross; compassion, empathy, kindness, and love are lost. It will be replaced with guilt, shame and egocentric behavior. I have created tiles with human faces on the cross to represent humanity and the crosses they bear. They are smoke fired to represent the scars and mars of life. Their blood has stained the girl and her blood has stained them. The young woman is put together in pieces as a symbol of her brokenness and her beaded sash represents her experiences and history. Through her experiences, she is bound by the rope to all of humanity and she has the responsibility to share her experience, strength and hope on help the healing of others.
We develop a sense of image of who we are, as we grow, by the world that surrounds us. We take in and absorb the comments of others, the responses or reactions of others. The gestures of those we love. The gestures of strangers. The criticisms. The compliments. How we are treated in comparison to someone else. It is all these ingredients that we consume and it becomes the platform of how we see ourselves. We take that information and use it as a guide in developing our image. How we want to be seen by the world. Or how we think the world would like to see us. Sometime, during middle age (hopefully), we begin sifting through that image and realize that much of what we have believed about ourselves, is false. It is not who we really are. We become ready to shed that false self to discover and reveal our true self. This gentleman is in his later days of travel and he is realizing that much of what he has carried through his days can be left behind. While it served him well, it is not his genuine self.