The day that Christie and I met seemed like any other ordinary day. It was slightly over-cast and grey, a cool crisp winter’s morning. Rugged up in our ‘Tassie’ uniforms, sipping hot coffee from our keep-cups, we crunched along the wet sand of my local beach. Two strangers starting up a conversation, awkwardly trying to […]
The day that Christie and I met seemed like any other ordinary day.
It was slightly over-cast and grey, a cool crisp winter’s morning. Rugged up in our ‘Tassie’ uniforms, sipping hot coffee from our keep-cups, we crunched along the wet sand of my local beach. Two strangers starting up a conversation, awkwardly trying to reach out and make a connection.
I had recently separated from my husband of 10 years and had reached out to her through a Facebook post she had made. It seemed strange being in my 40s and responding to someone’s ad seeking new friends but here I was none the less, taking a risk and trying to move forward in my life.
Fast forward to a year later. What a rollercoaster ride of adventure, of learning, of physical change and spiritual growth it has been. We have discovered a bond around our creative sides. Christie is an amazing photographer, but she has had to let her passion for it become a back-seat in her ventures in caring for other people.
I myself have wanted to write a book about my fertility journey for the longest time and am only now finding my inner wise-woman is ready and strong enough to get that all out, get it down on paper and out of my body. We decided to combine our two passions and do something impactful. Something we could present to the world and say “Look here! See what’s been done to us? See what has been said to us? See what damage those words truly do? See the scars you left behind?”
We wrote down words. Words that had been said to hurt and inflict pain. Words that had been said in an off-hand manner but that had long lasting effects. Words that had been said by medical professionals, people in positions of power. Words that had been said by people we trusted and were supposed to love us. Words we had been taught as girls to think about ourselves.
We thought it would be hard. We thought it would trigger harsh, cold feelings, feelings we had desperately been trying to avoid.
But it didn’t, not at all.
Once we got going and dived into that well of emotion it flowed out of us, like water from a slightly rusty tap, sputtering at first and then finally gushing out. It was such a rush. A rush of emotion, a rush of relief, a rush to get all those words out in the open.
Then we got naked. We wrote those words, those nasty and belittling words, all over our bodies in dark, black, bold writing. We covered our nipples with duct tape and wore small black G-strings. As women we often feel gagged by society so we wrote the word Enough on a piece of tape and smothered our mouths. We stood with our hands, bound, behind our backs to represent the ties our world puts on us as women, the constraints we must wear to fit-in, to conform.
I thought it would make me feel uncomfortable. I thought it would bring up old emotions that I had struggled to work through, struggled to work past. I thought it would rip open old wounds, make me feel dirty somehow and make my skin crawl when I saw those words that had been used against me, those words that I had been telling myself for so long. But I was wrong.
How it felt, honestly, was powerful. It felt like those words now were mine. Mine to display how I saw fit. I could finally show them to the world without feeling ashamed or judged. Without feeling pain or hurt. No more hiding away. No more sacrificing my mental well-being for the comfort of others. I felt like I was reclaiming my body and crying enough. Enough of these prejudices. Enough of these ancient views. Enough to bigoted people who don’t think about the consequences of their words. The consequences of their actions. I stood with those words written on me and I took back my power.
This is how the We Are Enough Art Project was born. In the beginning all we wanted was to do this for ourselves, we needed to, and we certainly achieved that. But it was no longer big enough, it was no longer just about us. The experience was so cathartic that we wanted to offer it to other women, to all women.
We want to create an art piece so profound, so confronting and impactful it hurts to look at it. An art piece that shines a spotlight on how society treats women and screams back into its face, a face that still has its eyes screwed up tight against the truth, enough. A piece that can’t be ignored, that can’t be silenced, that can’t be swept under the rug and forgotten. We want to create long-lasting societal change that starts with us and ripples out, firstly through our participants and then through them out into the world.
We are asking 1600 women to join us in the making of the biggest art piece of its kind. We want to exhibit it in a space where it can have the biggest impact and people from all around the world can view it. We want to start a conversation that doesn’t end. We want people to start thinking about the power of their words. We want people to understand the impact of what we tell our little girls and how it affects the women they grow up to be. We want women to fall in love with themselves. We want women to be recognised for who and what they are. We want them to stand proud and strong, brave, and beautiful and take back their power. We want them to stand together and scream at the world it’s enough. No more, we won’t take it anymore. It’s enough.
Anyone wanting to participate or sponsor or support us should head to our Facebook page, We ARE Enough art project or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you participate or support us, it’s time to stand together and scream we are enough!
Amanda Gill is an Author/artist/philanthropist and one of the founders of the We ARE Enough arts project.
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Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/06/we-are-enough-art-project/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=we-are-enough-art-project