I am writing this on August 12th, 2016. It is nearing 5:00 pm. I have been looking out of the window of this cafe at the rather dreary sights of city. A grey has overcome it all. The homeless people in the park are fleeing for cover from a tremendous downpour. So are the pigeons. After rummaging through, what I perceive as, the rigid complexities of my mind, I have only just mustered the courage to elucidate on my experience this morning. As some of you may know, Allen and myself, began “Childhood Fractured” almost two weeks ago. Since the projects inception, Allen and myself have started a blog for the project, compiled research on childhood sexual abuse, created a Facebook page, and discussed, at length, Allen’s life story. Discussing Allen’s life story has provided me with invaluable insight into who Allen is, how he thinks etc. And will allow me to craft more precise stories for this project. In the process, we have bonded by exploring the atrocities of sexual abuse we experienced as children and how those atrocities have manifested themselves in our respective adult persons.
Until this morning, we hadn’t started the artwork itself. I had no idea how emotionally charged and daunting this work would truly be. To look another person in the eyes and share with them your most horrifying experiences, with no guarantee as to how they will receive it, takes a certain amount of courage in itself. To create artwork based on those horrifying experiences, to be put on display for everyone’s eyes to see, judge, critique, and analyze, I dare say, takes an entire different category of courage. This morning I gained the slightest glimpse into that courage. I must admit, on the way over to Allen’s house, I was full of nervous excitement. I had no idea what to expect, what emotions would arise. Prior to this day, we agreed, for the sake of the art, that we would attempt to combine our creative process. The agreement was Allen would be painting while narrating the subject matter of the painting; something that he has never done before. And I would take notes and absorb the experience and begin crafting the story. We did just that.
We began with Allen introducing himself to the camera that was filming us. And after a brief introduction, Allen began imprinting his memory of a particular experience onto the canvas as I took rigorous notes while absorbing as much as possible. I was astounded by the grotesque nature of the subject matter. I was even more astounded by Allen’s courage. It took some serious courage to conceive a project such as this, nonetheless do it. He continued painting with strokes of bravery. The emotional tension of the space grew. With each stroke of his brush and with each heavy word, the painting began to take on a life of its own. And in this moment, I gained insight into what we are truly doing. Allen continued on, forging and speaking. Spilling out his soul in a way I have never seen a person do. He started painting faster and with more fury. And then, without notice, moments before the awesomeness of this experience reached new heights, a shriek of thunder and lightning could be heard tremoring the earth. It broke our collective moment. This was followed by immense rainfall. It was as if the gods were weeping. The basement began flooding and we scurried move Allen’s belongings to prevent damage.
Afterwards, we briefly discussed some things and I was on my way. I could see in Allen the emotional toll painting this experience had taken. He looked weak and lightheaded. As if he had come down with an illness. I commended him even more for his bravery afterwards. Today, I truly felt as though what I am doing, what we are doing, is a good thing. If the proceeding moments of creation are at all similar, you will have some stellar artwork fashioned from the souls of two men. As I finish writing this, I look outside. The sun peaked out its head briefly and then disappeared back behind the grey. I know the Sun is there. It will come out soon enough. Mother Nature back at it with the symbolism.