The Unconscious , Tapping Trauma

 I am working on a series of pieces for an upcoming group show devoted to the maligned women of history , folk tale and myth . The show is called “Bad Girls”.  There are plenty of so called Bad Girls to choose from and I’ve selected a few that have resonated over the years : Salome , Mary Magdalene, the three crones from “Macbeth”. 

My studio progress which had been going well has been interrupted a bit ( even this post , ordinarily made from the comfort of my studio , is now made from my IPhone at my breakfast table . 

My little dog Rose is very sick . We nearly lost her over the weekend and her recovery is arduous and fraught with worry . My time and my emotions are occupied with her recovery . 

That said , I did manage to bring all the pups to the studio yesterday and put in a few hours . Rose’s whimpering abating , the anti anxiety meds kicking in allowing me some time to  focus. 

What I focused upon was the Mesoamerican moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, link below :

According to the legend this unfortunate goddess for reasons complicated by patriarchy and misogyny,  is mutilated beyond recognition. Forever memorialized in the monumental disc bearing her image found now at the Templo Mayor museum in Mexico City . She is a powerful figure.

 I worked rather feverishly yesterday as I knew my time was limited before Rosie became restless again needing my attention and the result thus far , is the corpus of the goddess found above . I myself was struck by the pathos of the being . 

As usual with my dollmaking I hadn’t filtered my emotions for mechanics; the figure emerged on her own . And after I held her broken body and posted her image online , only then , over dinner with my husband ( the psychotherapist) did I realize that my Coyolxauhqui was in fact Rosie.

 This should have been obvious , Rose has an amputated rear right leg and now a near lame right arm- she is essentially an invalid . That the doll is nearly life sized to my sweet pug is also an unconscious similarity. 

I’m of course completely absorbed with Rose’s needs , we both are . David , a medical doctor’s son is particularly adept in assessing in a calm cool manner; but he has his own work , patients of the human sort wrestling with their own traumas . 

As the artist with a more flexible schedule, nursing is for the most part, my duty . I’m so happy she is alive I am grateful to have this second chance . But it’s hard , she cannot eliminate on her own , fights me ferociously over her bitter pills and the whimpering, not consistent, but when she does whimper , it breaks my heart in half . Believing myself to be impotent , useless .

 This is Rosie yesterday , a better day ( after a fraught night ) , shopping for new bedding and nursing paraphernalia. She loved the attention , her tail wagging with enthusiasm.

 Today, after her follow up at the hospital ( it’s predicted to be a lengthy recovery , six months or so of this schedule), I plan to head to the studio and meet my other  obligations to the show , my work and to myself .

 The following images are of my progress thus far: 
Wish me luck.

Update, finished! and Rose is steadily improving!

“Coyolxauhqui Reassembled “
Painted recycled fabric , feather, polyfil , thread , spit and glue

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

6 thoughts on “The Unconscious , Tapping Trauma”

  1. Lucky Rosie has the best family and the best nurse!! Her little face is so sweet, I am so happy to know what a loving house she lives in. We are sending all our best thoughts that way.
    The doll is amazing, the detail of her earring is fantastic–I love these stuffed pillow-dolls you’re making, the whole series. But the pencil-drawn bad girl makes me *swoon*. She’s HOT!!

    1. Thank you my dear . She is improving slowly , tough thing for her is to accept her limitations. I can empathize.
      Happy you like Salome ; hot was what I was going for . Swoon away 👹😁

  2. what fantastic work you’re making Leonard. I’m sorry to hear Rosie has been so poorly, you must all be exhausted, but its so good to hear she is doing better. Love and best wishes to you all from over here in the UK x

    1. Thank you my friend! It has been harrowing but as I type she is snoring peacefully. Still terribly wonky, but steady improvement.
      She sends her love from LA as do I ❤

  3. Leonard: Your imagination is boundless…anxious to see the completion of your project…as to Rosie; you are doing just fine and the ‘whimpering’ can be a way to get your attention and stop your work to ‘take care of her’….I could be totally wrong, but animals are much like babies….and they will do things to get your awareness at times…but leave them alone and they will settle down….Keep up the artistic drive..let nothing interfere….ciao, Dan Kelso

    1. Thank you Dan, that means a lot to me. I understand what you say, but she actually was quite unwell. Happily she is improving and her whininess has diminished a bit.

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