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EXHIBITIONS

MY SOUL IS ESCAPED

PATRICIA J VICKERS
ARTIST STATEMENT

Expression of life experiences is realized through many different actions and mediums. Articulating internal experiences in a way that does not judge, blame or criticize the other encourages further inquiry, reflection and action. The intention of this exhibition is to invite social engagement that does not dehumanize another–even though incest is an act of dehumanization.

I spent the majority of my life attempting to understand my father and the concept that dehumanization begets dehumanization.

Dissociative Amnesia was an involuntary, protective way to wrap myself in a restrictive reality. It was when a family member disclosed a past event that I discovered my mind had no access to the shared experience — I then became aware of my forgetful state.  Since 2006, when I discovered I had dissociative amnesia, I went through phases of denial:

I don’t want to know anymore;
what you don’t know can’t hurt you;
it isn’t necessary to know to heal

Having experienced my nervous system crashing once and on the verge of a second collapse, I sought help through two colleagues who combined LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System) therapy with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and psychotherapy.  Dr. Ulrich Lanius and Dr. Stephen Milstein were my companions as memory was recovered over a period of three challenging months.  Unable to find words to document the healing process, I painted.

The exhibition is dedicated to Ian Roderick Beaton, now deceased. He is the father of my four children and my companion at the beginning of my intentional healing journey in 1989.  May the documentation be medicine to your soul.

Midden

8.5″x5.7/8″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Life is a midden with layers of experience.

Coming out of Dissociative Amnesia

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Dreams of it being someone else — betrayal — yet sexual betrayal is like breathing, normal. As I observe in the dream, my question is, “how can you betray another human being like that?” Bits and pieces and then there’s an opening of hope.

Brain Releases

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

More pieces are found as the brain releases memory to the mind. The brain stores everything perfectly. In shock and yet amazed.

Bottom Layer of Life

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Sometimes it feels like the bottom layer is dark and very ugly.  But there’s something, some force, or hue or energy that counters that sensation.

Dull Ache

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Sometimes there’s this gray and it is like membrane, frozen with a dull ache somewhere within my being. My being…

Lifeline

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

It feels like there is a lifeline from somewhere in my soul and it is attached to beauty, to another life.

Raven of Magic

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

She was standing in the backyard looking out to the fruit trees
Stifling a cry that was from ancient times
Ancient sorrow
Rooted in loneliness deeper than the
Roots of the willow tree where she rested
To gather together the bits and pieces
She was standing, a child, a girl

Compassionate Mother

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

The Holy Sacred compassionate mother within all souls.
“Mother’s love is peace.  It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.”

— Erich Fromm

Sacred Circle

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Talking with my sister about the Sacred Circle comprised of parts of self at different ages. My parts helped me to survive.  We split to survive. It is natural and it is what we do as human beings. There’s a sense of other, familiar terrain not quite in focus. A goodness in the midst of anguish.

Shining Child

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Could it be in the depths of forgetfulness there is a shining child whole and well?
Yes
Yes, somehow, by some supernatural mystery she is there

Woven Together

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Poplar, birch, sunshine and beaver pond are all mixed together, woven together with the choking, twisting and terror of hell.
Beauty and anguish.  Alienation and affection.  Distortion and reality all woven together

Owl

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Owl in the night. It isn’t true that those things past are best left unsaid. It isn’t good for anyone in the family to keep the silence. When we tell the truth, let go of family rules, then the supernatural can come as an owl in the night.

I am Her Blossom

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Mother of bark and grain
Fruit tree was many times loving arms that held me
I had a feeling I was her blossom

Snowdrop Respite

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

There was an untended garden on the westerly side of the house and it was there that I would find refuge among the bluebells and snowdrops. Once I brought my youngest brother to join me. He still remembers.

The Terrain

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

The terrain seems beautiful yet in the creases and folds of life there is great distortion.  How am I to relate to this suffering that goes back generations?  Is this question a prayer?  Yes.  It is a prayer.

Douglas Fir

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

There were grain lines of safety on my parent’s bedroom floor.
An iridescent place of refuge iridescence caught by light held by light kept by light. Held.

Time

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Time where there is no time. Transformation without effort only presence only a re-membering of all that was distorted. They say time heals but it doesn’t.  The Supernatural heals.

Ease my Troubles

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

I now have a sense of my child self. A whole sense. A song comes to mind and one line so beautifully written by someone who truly knows, “Fill my life with gladness. Take away my sadness ease my troubles that’s what you do.” I feel her today. She is beautiful.

Unknown

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Somehow, by some magic, the shame is being transformed. Like Txamsem changing to raven by putting on the feathered cloak, like blood changing to milk, the Great Unknown is shifting the shape of shame and misery.

A Child’s Prayer

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

I could only see the crown of her head her body was trapped underneath a heavy weight and as though pressed from the top of her head
A prayer found its way out
“God help me”

The Brain

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

I’ve been listening to video lectures on the brain and how trauma changes it and what helps to heal it
Here I am week after week, doing what needs to be done to heal the brain, the mind, the heart, the soul. I pray for my whole self, for the coming together of my whole self.

Is Escaped

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

From the Psalms a familiar melody of freedom, “My soul is escaped as a bird, out of the snare of the fowler”
Out of the snare of hell out of the snare of distortion. Out.

Landscape of Life

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Trauma has conditioned connection with myself and with others. Relationships as the brain releases memory to the mind, the landscape of life is shifting.  There is beauty everywhere, in the smallest blossom to the expanse of the sky.

All Good

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

What was concealed by dissociation is now revealed.  Grief is an island behind me now. Something else is emerging in the distance. There’s a sense that it is all good

A Purification

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

How can it be? An internal Sweat Lodge of purification.  Ancestors with me. A coming of age.

No Longer

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

That which was once grotesque is no longer vulgar, no longer a threat…All that was frightening,
terror, horror and shame
is shifting shape

Valley of Shadow

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

There was so much incest. So much buried. It is dark.
Yea though I walk
through the valley
of the shadow of death

With Me

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

Through the many sessions I’m aware there is a presence of the Great One. Creator. The Great Unknown
I will fear no evil
For Thou art
With me

Seated Together

8.5″x6.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

My father has been my enemy and at the same time I’ve lived my life working for him to accept, affirm and love me. God help me.
He prepares a table before me
In the presence of my enemies

Restores

6.5″x8.5″ mixed media on watercolour paper

HE restores my soul