“Art is the search for truth” (Earle, 1996), but it’s difficult to be creative when the truth is constantly being edited. Creativity requires a level of authenticity that is a genuine reflection of the inner-self: emotions, thoughts, morals and values, and sincere worldview. As an artist, our artwork is a reflection of our inner world and we must have a deep connection with our inner being in order to realize our greatest creative potential.
It takes a bold and courageous soul to be fully transparent and bare their unedited inner being to the world since we all deeply desire to be accepted in some fashion, and fear being rejected. Yet, being authentic leaves us vulnerable and exposed, subject to these very consequences and to the scrutiny of others. For artists, this means the vulnerability of our artwork. Many of us would rather edit the truth of our inner-self and project a mask for social acceptance. However, each time we choose to hide behind our mask a piece of our authentic-self shrinks away and we lose the connectedness to the root of our originality and creativity. But the core of our existence doesn’t die, it just becomes less familiar as our mask becomes more decorated.
As an artist, and as a human being, I have yet to reach the revelation of being fully aware and expressive of my authentic-self. At glimpses, I recognize the light of my authentic inner-self is illuminate and powerful and beautiful and flawed, and I want every bit of these pieces of my inner world to be manifested throughout my creativity. Art is a form of my intimacy, and as Ken Page L.S.C.W describes authentic intimacy (“into-me-see”) is reached by revealing the tenderness and vulnerability of our core essence. I want my transparency to be witnessed by my audience through my artwork. I am on the journey to being fully “unmasked”. Each painting of this exhibition sheds a layer of my embellished mask and reveals another dimension of my authentic-self. It’s about the journey…
Muse: Newest painting “Unmasked”
36” x 48”
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Artist: Lazarie Atkins
iDentities represents a bi-dimensional human identity that is shaped by a collective life experience from our environment, our values, beliefs, and conscious and unconscious thought. When looking at the developed identity (self-identity) and the created identity (social identity) they are shaped by how we internalize a myriad of experiences that evoke emotions of love, joy, hope, serenity, and compassion (represented by the “warm” colors, reds and orange) that simultaneously occur with pain, sadness, disappointment, heartache, distress, loneliness, and fear (represented by the “cool” colors, blues and violets).
This visual dialogue captures the ambiguity of an individual who has not yet reached self-actualization but is unraveling the interwoven attributes of their identity in order to reach a higher level of consciousness and self-awareness. The figure is genderless, colorless, and body language expresses both embrace and mourn. The ambiguity denotes the vulnerability and susceptibility to change, adaptability, and the process of evolution.
iDentities is the centerpiece of a developing series of ten paintings that capture a personal narrative titled Rebirth: A Journey to Self-Revelation. iDentities’ placement represents the transitional phase from moving from the darkness to the light; letting go of negative inertias, self-destructive behavior, and unawareness, and moving towards self-love and self-acceptance, confidence, and operating from a position of power through self-awareness of the authentic self.
5. Dark Stage
“My Sacrifice” - Letting Go
“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
“Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.” - Oprah Winfrey
“Letting go is one way of saying I love you.” - Anonymous.
“The ones who are meant to be in your life won’t be gone forever.” – Cheria Caldwell
“Forgiveness means letting go of the past.” - Gerald Jampolsky
“People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on.” - Bill Cosby
“To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring. It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off. It’s the realization I can’t control another. To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging the outcome, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To let go is not to be protective. It’s to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept. To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love myself more.” - anonymous poem
Sacrifice (noun): Something given up or lost
2. Dark Stage
What becomes of the broken-hearted? When you lose someone or something that is dear to you, your world feels like it has stopped and you are left standing in moments composed of soft fallen echos of a love that you once known. Whether experiencing the loss of loved ones that have passed on, friendships, romantic love, dreams, for self, or life, love and loss have no prejudices.
The dynamic of the relationship may determine the gravity of the love, but the pull on the heart is relative when it’s time to move on. It hurts! There is no easy way around the healing process but to go through it. And any shortcuts taken may only reappear as later shortcomings. But in time… time does heal.
While the heart mends, love is a kinetic energy, in which it never fully dies but continually transforms and manifests itself into a different shape, new direction and level of intensity. Therefore, feed this energy with positive light instead of darkness, and remember that love is never truly lost, just interrupted…
Love (noun): Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
Interrupt (verb): To break the uniformity or the continuity of
LIFE : DEATH : REBIRTH
Sometimes you don’t realize the damage that’s been done until you’re standing in the midst of rubble and debris. The storm has passed, but now you’re left to sift through the broken pieces to put back together again. The shards are painful but the fact that you’re still alive and breathing is enough to realize the storm has its purpose, and it wasn’t to destroy you!
The wonderful moments in life are to be celebrated but it’s when a storm comes along that you reach the “defining” hour of who you truly are. Sometimes things in your LIFE simply fall apart in order for you to take a closer analysis of the identity you’ve created for yourself. Does your identity truly reflect your inner-most (and often unconscious) beliefs, emotions, and thoughts, or are you merely just a semblance of what you want others to think of you? It’s natural to allow your gifts and talents to shine while building walls to hide your weaknesses, traumas, struggles, pains and imperfections. But it’s by honestly embracing and overcoming these afflictions that you then gain the power to melt away these walls of defenses, bringing DEATH to the mirage of an identity that was and awakening a deeper level of consciousness with self-discovery and self-actualization —empowering your true self.
But it’s not until you surrender to the truth… your truth, that you begin the journey to self-revelation. REBIRTH!
Self-revelation (noun): Revelation of one’s own thoughts, feelings and attitudes especially without deliberate intent