The Red Thread Series
Printed transparencies and red thread
The Red Thread Series describes an exploration and observation of a woman’s relationship with herself and her environment. This is an internal and external deconstruction and reconstruction of my Women Inside a Pomegranate artwork.
What does the red thread mean in each artwork?
Is the woman trapped or protected in her sphere/box?
What is the direction of movement - inward or outward?
The Red Thread Series aims to bring awareness and insight to the consequences of trauma.
My work as a clinical social worker and art therapist specializing in the area of trauma and sexual abuse inspired my passion to educate about trauma symptoms and to advocate and support survivors.
Research indicates one in three women and one in five men have been sexually abused by the age of 18. Trauma could be any threatening event we cannot control and which evokes fear of death or serious harm to one’s psyche or body.
Sexual abuse is a spectrum of intrusions crossing one’s personal boundaries. It could be unwanted exposure to nudity, pornography or sexual acts on one end of the spectrum, and unwanted or forced touching from a caress to rape on the other end.
Trauma symptoms affect every aspect of a person’s life. Symptoms extend from issues of self-esteem, confidence, trust in others, and inability to make decisions or to focus, an awareness of feelings, and can influence the ability to be truly happy. Trauma could cause dissociation, night terror, flashbacks, unexplained physical pain, inflicting self-harm and may lead to suicidal tendencies.
Trauma has significant effects on one’s ability to relate to others and maintain homeostasis. Trauma distorts a person’s core beliefs in oneself, others and the world.
For example, feelings of “I’m a failure or unloved,” or “the world is unsafe” and “people can’t be trusted."
Trauma survivors often feel guilty, ashamed or defected. The response of others to the survivor’s trauma disclosure and narrative has a significant influence on the person who was traumatized.
However, trauma symptoms may be minimized and contained through therapy. Research suggests trauma memories are often stored in the nonverbal part of the brain and are therefore better expressed and processed through art and movement.
My artwork represents several of the nonverbal notions that trauma survivors feel - mistrust, regression to fetal position, isolation, dissociation, and fear as well as transformation and post-traumatic growth.
Please help break the cycle of silence by preventing, reporting and advocating. We all benefit by a world that is free of sexual abuse! A world that will be safe for our children, sisters, brothers, parents and neighbours of all ages, gender, race or economic status.