Friday, 8 February 2013

Empty

Frida Kahlo suffered several miscarriages in her life and never had a living child. 

I've been reading a great deal about her in the past week, revisiting some of her work. Frida has always been one of my favourite artists from history, as she is to many people.
I had always felt kinship with her, based on not very much at all: the impact her husband had on her life and her adoration of him (although I am far more fortunate than her in that I have a loyal partner), her bisexuality, her eccentric and lavish clothes, her lack of concern with her facial hair (!), her love of self examination via self portraiture...



The sense of loss in her works now speaks to me much more clearly than it ever used to, and makes me feel a stronger form of kinship with her.

This form of loss is obviously something I had hoped never to have in common with anyone. Despite this, one of the gifts of this loss has been to hear the bravery and love in other women's stories, and to receive their generous support of me. 

Frida, like many women, had the bravery to turn her grief into an energy which fuelled her work.


I feel very inspired by this.
It is possible to create, even if it is not the creation of what I wanted at the moment...There is something both empowering and cathartic about making. Life can still contain art, creativity, adventures around the world and love, even in the face of grief. Frida had all these things, although she suffered terribly with ill health and pain (and through betrayals by Diego). I am luckier than her. 

I have made a self portrait since Lyra died.
I think it shows something of what I feel, and making it helped me see more of what I am feeling. 



6 comments:

  1. I think it is important for you to express your loss. My sister lost a baby in 1972, and she was not allowed to acknowledge how she felt,and still suppresses. I went to the Frida exhibit at the AGO in Toronto twice recently, once in November and a 2nd time in Jan just before it closed. She was - incredible.

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  2. Nomi, that self-portrait is one of the most astounding things I have seen. How powerful to channel some of your pain to creation. I too had a loss recently and I feel yours deeply, an ache in my heart. I hope art and life bring you healing and some balm.

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    1. Thank you...my sorrow for your loss too xxx

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  3. I too have long felt a kinship with Frida Kahlo, how she overcame her physical and emotional scars, and moreso since my losses. I remember seeing 'Henry Ford Hospital' at an exhibition in Vienna shortly after losing S, and just gazing at it for minutes. She was an amazing woman. So glad you are finding your art cathartic.

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  4. Your drawing is beautiful and heartbreaking all at once, Nomi And I think Frida speaks to many, many women. Her life was full of pain and sorrow, joy and beauty, but she was never afraid to grab hold of all of it and live it to its full, and to paint it, bone and blood and blossom and all.

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  5. Hi Nomi,

    Of course we can email! My email address is danacnewton@gmail.com

    I've been thinking of you and Lyra a lot. I'll be watching for your email.

    (((hugs)))

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