Exhibition and Banishing Shame

The Eleni Crossing Bodice makes its shiny debut in an exhibition of local artists at the Warburton Waterwheel Art Gallery.

Nothing quite like the threat of public humiliation to get one’s posterior motivated enough to Get Things Done.

I was asked by a local Warburton mover and shaker (I’m looking at you Melanie) if I would like to exhibit one of my crocheted pieces in an upcoming exhibition of local artists.

My Inner Critic was the first to arrive on the scene and in abject terror screamed NOOOOOOO!!!!…what if you… what if it doesn’t…what if… and that’s where I shot my hand up in the dear critic’s face and said “Talk to the hand, I’ve got this, I’m good“ before I allowed the rest of the OMG NOOO Brigade to arrive and poop on my party. I threw up a little in my mouth but I just said yes.

Usually, my anxiety needs to have all my ducks in a row, the house meticulously clean, and the planets aligned just so before I can even consider saying yes to anything that might involve the public in any way but this year I have decided to gird my loins and take a stroll beyond the strongly fortified walls of my comfort zone. So yes it was.

Brené Brown says that our first foray into shame often involves creativity. She says:

When I started my research on shame I found 85% of the men and women I interviewed remembered an event in school that was so shaming, that it changed how they thought about themselves for the rest of their lives. For 50% of those shame wounds were around creativity, so 50% of those people have art scars, and so we have to go back and unearth that.

When you are taking on creativity you are taking on soul work, this is not about what we do this is about who we are.

The Great Pom-Pom Incident of 1966 is my indelible and invisible shame scar but that’s another story for another time. Saying yes was a bold way of getting out of my own way and staring shame down and getting on with the business of being an artist in the world, of being someone who shares stories and the art of beauty making, of being a person who feels the shame and does it anyway. That’s who I want to be and if I can share this newfound courage with my posse of brilliant IRL and virtual friends and family then I will be all the richer for it. Maybe we can all collectively stare down shame and share our gifts with the world.

My crochet piece the Eleni Crossing bodice is the story of my mother‘s migration to Australia. It is now standing shamelessly at the Warburton Waterwheel Art Gallery and will be showing until 30 October 2023.

Warburton Waterwheel Art Gallery

3400 Warburton Hwy, Warburton VIC 3799

Come along and see what very special artisans this little pocket of the world has to offer.

Shamelessly yours,

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