The end

http://mirrorintoglass.squarespace.com

This is the  'exhibition' website. Haven't come up with a good domain name yet. still need to write up the statement, title the work, edit it down.

Do I show most of it, showing and explaining how the images evolved? Or go with less is more, just show the ones i think are the strongest?  

 

So yesterday I had the idea of appropriating some art or papers from my students.  At first, this felt like a really strange thing to do. To paint my own images over their papers seemed taboo somehow.   

I had some abandoned, half finished perspective drawings, and some other 'no name' classwork papers.  I chopped up the perspective drawings and got rid of any pieces that had a name on it.  It seemed less potent to do art on anonymous drawings, rather than being aware of a specific student. 

I really loved using the perspective drawings as a starting point background.  SOme of these though feel too busy, too much going on.

 

More art: saturday and today

Saturday.

Violated a precious stack of Arches watercolor paper that I've been hoarding for a year. Hated everything I made, but did like seeing a symbol evolve into a bizarre multi-breasted armless mermaid. Yeah! 

Most of these are ink. Getting used to a new brand. It has an almost oily flow to it. 

I also played with Elmer's glue resist with oil and chalk pastel

Today. 

Patrick's email triggered an idea. The Art and Fear excerpt caused me to lean back in relief. My father gave me that book years ago. I only read the opening paragraph today. It was enough. 

THIS IS ABOOK ABOUT MAKING ART. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like peopIe - essentially (statistically speaking) there aren't any people like that. But while geniuses may get made once-a-century or so, good art gets made all the time. Making art is a common and intimately human activity, filled with all the perils (and rewards) that accompany any worthwhile effort. The difficulties artmakers face are not remote and heroic, but universal and familiar. 
This, then, is a book for the rest of us.

 So, when I got home, after the homework battles, silly youtube videos, and tater tots prepared by my son, I went through a stack of "can't deal with this now" papers.  Classroom newsletters, math worksheet, fundraiser order forms, multiplication practice, etc. My kids' stuff, my kids world at school. 

My daughter joined me at the art table and I used these papers for backgrounds, doing memory drawings of the simple stag woman figure. She did some too (I included my favorite below), and then her own thing. I followed Patrick's advice and left out the color mostly, except for one, which is still monochrome. Ink washes, gesso, white pastel, white crayon. A lovely end to the day.

This brought up ideas and thoughts, but I am saving them for some art making I am doing tomorrow. More to come. 

From the mirror to the window

This last dive involved switching my focus from making art as part of a private healing process and instead making art with the intention of sharing it publicly.  

I decided to display it on a website that does not have my name attached so that I can make art without worrying about it being attached to my Teacher identity.  The idea of that is very appealing, and I think I have just begun to let go and get into what that means for me. I don't have total privacy, since this work and the website are part of my capstone that I will be showing others. It is still attached to Hilary McLean. I am still aware of holding back.

Making art that I know I will be showing definitely changes the though process around making it. I am focused on quantity, not quality, trying to continue to work experimentally and to not spend too much time on any one piece.  

The symbols that I have worked with, that have personal meaning for me, and now going out into the world, and that means letting go of them. I cannot force my meaning onto them any more. In her Art:21 interviews, Kiki Smith talks about this, about having a collection of "characters" and letting them live many lives. This extends beyond the life they life in my work. They have a life out in the world too. 

But the biggest thing about all this is the realization that no one really cares. And I don't mean that in a self pitying Eeyore kind of way (well I do a little). My circle of people care about what I make, because they care about me. But beyond that, I doubt my work will matter much to anyone else. There are thousands and thousands of other artists, many with work similar to mine, and no one cares about what any of us are making. 

It brings me back to why I never stayed in the art world in the first place: complete lack of ambition. To get attention for your work, you have to work very hard at the business side of it, and I have no interest in that.  

The world of expressive arts, or art made for healing or for spiritual reasons is one in which community is important. The group support, the fellowship of others on their own journey is what I like. I get that from school, and once I am out of school all I feel is isolation. I have no interest in working in isolation.  I like making my own art in the presence of others, and talking about and sharing it. The only place I find that sense of fellowship is in the expressive arts world. 

I'm also aware of judging the work I am making because I will be showing it to strangers. I'm not very happy with anything I've made, and I feel stuck with it because it is my capstone, and I committed to this.  

 

Exploring another symbol

Last week I explored a new symbol, the Fish Head Woman. I am not completely sure what that symbol is about, and I'm not forcing any meaning on it.

This week I explored a symbol that I've already been using in my art work, the Stag Woman.

I was really not feeling at all inspired, so I was delighted when I sat down to work, and a spontaneous change happened. I've been struggling with anxiety and overwhelm lately, and the Stag Woman, normally a symbol of strength and my masculine side, was instead falling over, bending over backward or dead.  Instead of antlers, twin trees, or roots.  It was cathartic.  As I write those words, the connection to my daily stresses is obvious, but as I was drawing it was just automatic. 

I was not happy with my art making process though. I couldn't find my favorite brush, and the ink colors weren't coming out the way I wanted. I kept messing up. Oh well. 

Here they are. 

Art

I did this last Sunday. Set a goal to make ten quick-ish drawings.  

Privacy/exposure continued (artwork)

I did not anticipate my home life to be one of the issues in my privacy/exposure exploration, but it is a major one, and always has been regardless of living situation.   

It has been so hard not only to make time to work on this, but to have time that is private and uninterrupted. The thing that is wonderful about visual art is that I can do it small, in sketchbooks, only taking up half of a table, and able to close/hide whatever it was that I made or wrote. 

But I also long to expand my expressive arts practice into big, noisy and disruptive activities like music and movement and it is so hard to do that at home. My kids and my partner are always around, and even though my kids pretty much ignore me, it is difficult to be in a raw, vulnerable creative state with the t.v. blasting.  I long for my own space. 

I find that I am wanting to expand the boundaries of what is okay for me to make, what is taboo. That is asking too much, and it is not just my orientation that limits me. Everyone is limited, everyone has that boundary where they feel censored.  

This week was difficult not only because the topic, which felt unsafe to explore, but also because I am tired of feeling like I am making art about something, instead of just making stuff. I feel my self rebelling. It is becoming more about me as artist, creating, and less about orientation or teaching.   

The artwork I made today plays with visual ideas about space, private/safe space and public/hostile space. Framing, veils, boundaries. Invasion, spying.

 

Dive 2 - Privacy/Exposure

Pre-dive reflection

This is the icky dive. 

This is the dive that gets to the heart of this project. 

This one is about fear. This will address the aspects of LGBT identity that make we want to get out of public education because I feel very vulneable to nasty opinions. This is what keeps me in the expressive arts world, with its safe, private groups where I can truly express myself creatively without having to worry. It is confidential. It is safe. 

In an earlier post, I said that I truly didn't think I was an MFA type of person.  When I was younger, i was very TMI. I loved to have real conversations that were intimate and revealing.

Motherhood changed that. Become a mother, you are suddenly judged. And I can deal with that in my private life. But as a teacher, I am a sort of public figure, to be scrutinized.  It is just my kids, it is the community's children.  

So this is very limiting. Age is limiting too. When I was younger, I could get away with more. Now I am older, no one wants to hear it. I have a whole life to protect. I have two little beings totally depending on me. I can screw up. My role as a mother is more important than my art for the next decade or so.

So I censor my self.  

Things that are not okay to make art about because I am a teacher:

sexuality

nudity

politics

gender

I also feel that my age makes some of them off limits. 

Other things that feel off limits because they are too touchy feel-y or sentimental or something.

spirituality

motherhood

Mid-dive reflection

I again feel paralyzed. It is hard to make art about something. I just want to flow and see what comes up.  I felt very unmotivated to work, and honestly, feel depressed and anxious.  

I decided to incorporate the "spiritual arts" into this dive. I did tarot card reading, using the native american inspired Animal Medicine cards.  I asked what aspects of my life I need to be open about in order to heal, and in order to be a better teacher. 

The answer spoke of keeping silent about secrets, but being a trustworthy person to share them with.  It had the feeling of being grounded, calm.  It was not about instigating, and any more assertive ways of being open about one's identity.  

The art I made feels a little random, and I will let it be that. The idea of camouflage and signaling is still so compelling for me. Standing out, fitting in. And reconciliation, acceptance of where I am now, who I am at my job, who I am as an artist. 

Dive 2 - Marginalization/Belonging UPDATED

Pre-dive reflection

It is very difficult to be a working mom and to make time for research.  In fact, the past few days I just couldn't do it.  I'm forcing myself to do it now, and it feels hard.  

I am trying to be as intermodal as possible, so rather than using movement and guided visualization like I did last week, I am going to try something else.  I will video myself improvising. Oh my god. Yeah, that's what I am going to do.  I will improvise from the place of being outside, and then from a place of being inside.  This will be hard.  I will likely not share the video, but I will share screen shots, or something. I don't know. We'll see how it goes. 

Reflections while diving

The body language of belonging and being excluded. How do people move when they don't feel like they belong? How do they move when they do belong? 

I started my improvisation experiment by trying to speak from a place of feeling rejected or on the outside.  That didn't resonate, so instead I decided to move and hold my body. I filmed it, exaggerating how I hold my body when I am feeling exposed, left out, or judged.  

I then tried to move like someone who feels like they are in their rightful place. Walking tall and proud felt good. But how do people who feel like they belong hold themselves, especially when they are alone?  I couldn't find it. I couldn't find that body position.   

I did some drawing. Contour drawings of myself on video. Memory drawing of times I have felt out of place and that I was somewhere I was not wanted.

I became aware of my own tendency to exclude myself. 

On the Topic of LGBT-ness

One issue is that the whole LGBT identity thing just doesn't feel that big of a deal lately. I don't care about it, I don't feel it. I'm realizing (and perhaps this is a good thing) that work is just work and teachers, all of us, have to pretend to be something we are not. We all have private lives.  The conflict I felt between my private life and my work life just doesn't feel so distressing any more.  Is that good?  Did looking at these conflicts make them disappear or diminish? Or is it just too in my face, and I can't see it?

I just have this "So?" feeling.  

And the conflict I felt between my work life and my life as an artist doesn't feel like much of a conflict because truth be told, I am not aching to show my work and make my mark in the art world. I really am not. I am not an MFA person. This feels soft and maternal and conventional and kind of icky.

It also feels like a cop out, maybe?

My partner said something that at first pissed me off, but now I'm wondering about the truth of it.  She inquired about this research and when I told her she replied "you're STILL worrying about the gay stuff?" I know that my identity as an LGBT person will ebb and flow, and has many layers, and that each time I meet a new person, I have to come out, but it doesn't feel like that big of a deal lately. And she still deals with it too, trying to decide when it feels safe to be out, and when it doesn't.   

But it sure feels lately like there are more pressing issues to deal with. 

Thoughts on the purpose of art (expressive versus studio)

Blah. I feel stuck between the two approaches.  Expressive arts is just not that great to do on your own. I feel aimless.  I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  I'm making stuff but I don't know why.  I guess that is okay, that is how it is making art, it is not really much fun.

I just did a mind map to explore connections between last week's theme and this week's theme and to find the meaning and significance it has for me.  What is the purpose of making art about it now?  

I often see art making as a way to identify what is going on.  I just used a more logical process to identify some key things. What now do I do with art? What perspective does expressive arts have on this? What perspective does the studio art perspective bring?  

In the studio perspective, there is more of a relationship with the viewer, a sense of communicating to others. That seems to be lacking in expressive arts, at least my experience of it.  The audience is irrelevant.  It is your own relationship to what you are making that counts.  What others think of your work reflects on THEM.  

So what do I do now.  

More on Movement

For me, expressive arts involves moving. When I pondered the above questions, I realized that what expressive arts has helped me to do is to embody new ways of being. The fact that I didn't know what to do with my body to communicate a sense of belonging felt significant. 

Describing a session of movement is so lame, so woo woo. Sorry. What I did was imagine a line, a path from feeling Pushed Out to feeling Accepted and that I belong. This improvised moment of movement included me acting out various ways that I have been wounded, pushed away, judged, self destructive. And then I acted out dignity, self respect, knowing I belong, that I am valued, and how, from that place, I would handle attacks, which was a simple gesture and spoken "no".  Walking slowly, and putting up my hand, gently, and saying "no".  Honestly, this simple movement made me a little teary.  

The aesthetics of healing

What does the art therapy product look like? Free flowing colors, symbols, cliches, exaggerated expressions. Circles, spirals, goddess figures, obvious color associations.  

After the movement described above, I did a watercolor, just painted. I painted that sense of having a healthy boundary, knowing who I am, despite what others may think. 

Its a plain ugly painting, but the act of creating it went well with the experience of the movement, solidified it.  

So what to make of this? What place does this approach have in the studio art approach? 

I've made other art that felt really good to make, really personally meaningful. I know you are not supposed to like your own art, but I have a few pieces that I love to just sit and stare at. I love what they symbolize, I love how I painted them.  

I do not want these pieces to be evaluated from a studio art perspective. They are too precious to me. The magic of them is way more important to me than whether or not they are any good.  

What to do with that?  

Not quite done with this week yet, will be doing more on Sunday. 

Saturday

Attended an advanced expressive arts training. The focus was on self love. We did movement, collage, mandalas and some play back theater.  I talked about this research project, but it was not really possible to use the day to focus on my theme for the week.  I realized how totally scattered I feel, and how difficult it has been for me to go deep into this work and feel freaked out about it. This month has been full of interruptions and bullshit.  Fall is the worst time to have scheduled an independent study with everyone returning to school. 

Sunday

Did nothing, was sick. Will be using some of the built in flex time to continue this theme. It does not feel finished.

Monday

I feel completely paralyzed. It's been a while since I was creatively blocked.  I'm trying to regroup, and refocus what the goal is for these art dives. They are research, they are sketchbook (even if nothing is actually done in a sketchbook). I am playing, I am experimenting. I am not coming up with a finished product, I am building a compost pile to use later. My theme for experimental exploration is the ongoing theme of Belonging/Marginalization. If I make shit, that it is OOOOOOOKKKKKKAAAAAYYYYY.

Breakthrough!

The realization I had earlier that expressive arts tends to be a series of disconnected activities, and that in studio work there is more continuity, a series, was important.  But I need to clarify that expressive arts does have a continuity with the other art forms, but because it is more spontaneous and improvised, it doesn't seem to encourage the ongoing investigation that results in a body of work the way a studio practice does.

SO! 

I realized that I was not using any of the symbols that have come up for me over the past 4 years since getting a divorce and coming out.  A couple of symbols arose out of my expressive arts work, but they stayed separate from my other work. So I decided to invite all of these symbols into this theme and this research.  

I felt at home making these simple drawings, and letting my most common symbols (horse woman, stag, various birds and rabbit) play with the two themes I've done so far. The final image (of the rabbit with the falcon, with the other two symbols looking on in pride) was particularly moving to make and contemplate.   

Dive 2 - Week 1 Final reflections

Random Thoughts

Marinating on: an object being used to play with these ideas.  I started out thinking about the 80s because that was a time of identification, but I really am not too interested in the aesthetics of it. It reminds of childhood.  But the way Kira Walker uses silhouettes in a different way, or the Iron/Mask of WIllie Cole is a very intriguing idea. Marinating. 

Mindful of: Bob Mueller saying "the answer is in the studio." I am spending too much time in my head and writing, and not making enough art. 

Realizations: Different twists on my research questions that I only now thought of:

  1. which is more empowering/transformational/healing: Social Justice Art Ed activities that could also be done in a classroom, or Expressive Arts Therapy practices?
  2. What conditions are required for art making to be transformational or empowering? 

Another realization: I am holding back from doing full fledged expressive arts. I am doing it out of context, and if feels weird and un-academic.   

And now for the art.  

Today (Sunday) I tried to do expressive arts. In my head, I had this idea of creating a story, or a narrative, and I wanted to do 3-D, or make puppets or something.  I was planning on working all day, excited to have the whole day reserved for it. But I had a horrible headache, a kink in my neck, blurred vision (eye doctor appointment tomorrow), a partner who wanted to paint and be in my work area, which felt inhibiting, and I felt migraine-y and really tired.  I always ruin my own plans. 

Yesterday I created an audio guided imagery to help me. It was meant to help me find two characters to use to create a little narrative.  I have to say, I really liked my guided imagery, but I feel I use this approach too much, and would like to use other ways of getting into that alternative mindset, like movement. But movement is embarrassing and my partner was home so laying on the floor with headphones was better.

The first character was an old woman, and I think it was myself in the future. I liked myself. I looked self assured, and had short gray hair.  The other character was meant to be a sort of adversary or character that taught me something by opposing me.  That one was also me, as I am now.  It was disconcerting. Usually when I do these guided imageries, the things that appear are animals. 

I didn't know what do, as making a puppet of myself seemed overworked. I thought of the artist Marlene Dumas, and decided to make strange improvised, lumpy faces with the modeling compound. I did some of them with my eyes closed.  I did a black wash over them to bring out the facial features. 

Then I played with them outside. I thought about the play therapy technique called sand tray, and I brought out other figures to use outside.  Not very happy with the results., here they are:

At first I hated the faces outside, because they looked like garden art, like silly whimsical stepping stones.  But they were good for playing with the idea of camouflage.  I painted a third one very colorful. My camera has a facial recognition feature, and it was fun to see when it caught the faces and when it didn't:

This next week I focus on the theme Belonging/Marginalization.  I want to build on what I have already created, because I feel pretty scattered around, which is okay.  I think this next theme will bring be interesting for integrating some of the visual culture with expressive arts. 

Dive 2 - Miss Lennox and Miss Jett

Pondering Patrick's feedback, and references to Ellen Gallagher and Kara Walker. I love Kara Walker, so creepy. And the idea of using something contemporary to the development of my identity (the 80s)  and playing with it, is intriguing.  

So the theme I am exploring is Authenticity/Conforming.  The idea of camouflage has come up, and also this nagging longing to BE SEEN and valued.  It would be so nice to be out, and for that to be a cool thing. Yay!  Lesbian Art teacher! How awesome! Instead I hide, I hide that part of myself.  I conform, I fit in. My lesbian identity is invisible at work, and out in the world. I do not represent.  I want to be seen.

I'm way out of my comfort zone, trying to make art out of cultural references. I've never done it, so it feels unnatural.  I looked for 80s and 90s pop culture, fashion, technology so see if anything grabbed me.   

I thought about models of femininity. Who was held up as role models for female gender? Who played with gender? Prince, Boy George, Joan Jett.  I remember that I was never into those teen beat type of magazines with the cute boys on the cover.  My friends and went through a Duran Duran phase. Each one of us had our favorite. Mine was Nick Rhodes. Everyone in the band wore make up, but Nick Rhodes was by far the prettiest. I remember feeling a little self conscious about this. Was it weird?

I played with placing gender bending 80s icons into a classroom setting.   Here is Miss Jett and Miss Lennox.

 

Dive 2 - in progress reflection

I started this yesterday, and had the thought, what the fuck am I doing?   

While I was doing it, I had the thought, 'well its okay if my unspoken hypothesis ends up wrong or useless

I felt self conscious. I am doing this for an audience, rather than the safety of a group of people who are focused on healing. This is more about art, and art education.  

I did an active imagination, allowing my mind to wander visually while I wrote down what I was with my eyes closed.  The parts that stood out are these:

  • A memory of a man standing alone in a snooty restaurant, with a sweater over his shoulders, looking lonely and out of place.
  • The man leaving, stripping down and diving into a river
  • The man floating up through the air as if he had been at the bottom of the ocean, a large, very large bird swooping down and scooping him up. He crawled into the downy feathers - safe, and moving.
  • a scene from a movie (can't remember the name) with a glass sphere speeding though outer space, carrying the Tree of Life

I felt unsure what to do with this, so i decided to use white crayon and to draw some fo these images. I did a wash of soluble graphite over them. 

 

I ignored my theme, trying to just go with the flow of images, symbols, trying to not think about what it meant, just going deeper.   

I became aware of a pattern developing. Foam, capillaries and camouflage, patterns from nature.  The idea of camouflage struck a note. Some animals have it, some do not at all.

I reworked the images, thinking about this, but mostly getting lost in the making, not thinking at all. 

Dive 2 - Pre-dive reflection

The theme for the first stage of this dive is authenticity/conformity.  I will be using an expressive arts model for each stage of this dive, and that means a) it will be intermodal, b) the goal is healing and integration, c) I have no idea what will emerge and d) I need to get into the right mindset for this more intuitive approach by doing active imagination/meditation.

For the past year or so, I've been focused on doing movement as my first mode, followed by visual art, and ending with a written response.  I will do that for this first stage of the dive, because it is a familiar structure.  That means I am not going to allow myself to use it for the second or third stage, pushing me out of my comfort zone. 

One thing that feels tricky and strange is how to incorporate the theme into this intuitive process. I could set an intention, that whatever emerges from this process will help me to address ways I am authentic, and ways I lose that in order to conform. Where is it scary to be real? 

I could also let go of the theme, and then use the artwork that emerges to explore authenticity/conformity. 

I could do both. 

I will do both. 

and here we go. 

Dive 1 - Visual Journal

I was apprehensive about responding artistically to the Pinterest Board collection.  The two websites I found that were about "how to dress like a teacher" were both created by white Christian women, and they bugged me.  So I decided to mock them. I read through one site in particular looking for quotes that felt like digs, for ways in which her entitled sense of knowing what is right and proper clashed with my sense of self.

It was cathartic to poke fun and highlight the attitudes and statements that seem to shut me out from a sense of belonging. 

I decided to try the "culture jamming" approach and to use the same format but twist things up to include a LGBT perspective. CITE

 

As I worked, I became aware that children growing up in conservative christian homes sometimes hve teachers that are liberal atheists. Sometimes, more often I would guess, children growing up in LGBT homes have teachers that are conservative christians. We teach each others children. There is a sort of intimacy in that. 

The very presence of someone who bends gender conformities triggers discomfort, triggers images, even the person is heterosexual (think Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics).  The non-conforming person is blamed for this.  A woman who dresses in a masculine manner may be dressed in a very "modest way," but because of the nonconformity, they are perceived as sexual.  An LGBT educator who looks or acts queer is inherently problematic to those who think LGBT individuals have no place in education. Their very demeanor and appearance is disruptive, even if their actual teaching practice is indistinguishable from other teachers.

The teacher who assumed the authority of knowing how a teacher should dress gets her sense of authority from her conformity to Christian values (her version of them anyway). She thinks she knows what God wants.  She is an authority then on how children should be raised and taught.   She thinks someone like me is going to go to hell.  She might "love the sinner and hate the sin" but she still believes that I will going to hell. 

The disrespect goes both ways. I think she is dangerous too. I think she will shame my children. I think the way she treats me and my children is the only negative about being LGBT.  I think she is stupid and ignorant as well, for her beliefs and self righteousness. 

 

Dive 1 - Visual Culture

Reflections

When I first conceived of this, I had a couple of moments in mind. One moment was the weekly experience of logging into the online grading program my school uses. It is not there any more, but on the landing page, there was an image of young blond teacher, smiling at the camera.  She looks very professional, and like a teacher through and through. Proper, positive, pure. 

The other moment is when I did an image search using the term "lesbian." Almost all the results are of young women making out.  Overwhelmingly sexual. 

One of the themes in my life as a lesbian has been an awareness that by being out, people are often immediately aware of me as a person with a sexuality.  My own mother said this.  The search results line up with this.   

Using the term 'dyke' yields mostly images form the Dykes on Bikes intro to most gay pride weekends.  But it seems to be the one that most reflect reality, instead of stereotypes and fantasies.  I have to note how many women allowed themselves to photographed topless, but not in a seductive way. Just walking around in a gay pride parade.  Those are the ones that get photographed the most I suppose.  The times I have been to pride parades there was not that much of that.  

One of the effects of the gay marriage movement is that a lot of the camp and flamboyant-ness has decreased, and gay people, as they become more accepted, also become more conventional.  The "yeah, I'm gay, so what?" has really become a soooooo what.  There is really nothing interesting going on here. Just two regular, un-exotic people building a life together.  

Does being a professional means that your sexuality should not be noticeable?  You can be sexy in your red power suit, but it should be so that you can manipulate and get your way. Not to make people aware that you are different, aberrant.   Sometimes teachers at my middle school show cleavage. 

Once I pinned images capturing this tension, I wanted to explore how I express my gender and orientation, and what has influenced that.  I am a "femme" so my gayness is only apparent when I am out with my partner, who is more androgynous than I am.  She has had a very different experience than me, getting verbally and sadly even physically accosted because she is tall and doesn't conform to to female gender norms.  

Starting in middle school and up through most of high school, I lived in fear of looking "dykey".  I looked for images from the 80s when I was a teen for how I defined dykey. Many teen actresses who were tom boys were of course thought of as lesbians, such as Jo from the tv show the Facts of Life.  I had a strong reaction to these public images because I was both repelled and attracted to them.  There was always a hope that the show or movie would question and explore why the character wasn't like other girls.  I was scandalized by their difference.  What if they were?  What would that mean to know another girl my age who admitted it?

Accepting my own orientation took a long time. It took a long time for me to really see it.  Part of that was my gender presentation.  Since I didn't look gay, I didn't think I was allowed to be gay.  Other girly looking gay girls seemed fake to me. I didn't believe them, so how could I believe myself?  Stupid. 

And now, what do I do with this as an artist? What do I do with this collection of images, that look so funny together, particularly these two:

 

So the next step in Rohloff's Imaginarium process is to explore the images, their emotional impact, who owns and benefits from the images, and whose reality and voice is excluded.  There are a lot on the pinterest board, so I will decide which ones to explore further based on their emotional impact for me.