Behind closed doors - exhibited at Gasworks ARts Park
Our lives are inherently complex and filled with diverse experiences and emotional tones. While some moments and associated emotions are briefly experienced and quickly forgotten, others linger on – unimaginable grief, expansive love, insatiable boredom, and uplifting joy. And then there is embodied trauma, which remains hidden and wreaks havoc on the body until light is shone on the traumatic memories with courage, acceptance, and forgiveness. The experience of trauma stops us from connecting with our bodies and increases the chance of us developing alexithymia, an inability to identify and express or describe one's feelings. As Dutch psychiatrist Dr Bessel van der Kolk stated, "knowing what we feel is the first step to knowing why we feel that way. If we are aware of the constant changes in our inner and outer environment, we can mobilize to manage them". The loneliest aspect of traumatic experiences is that it often occurs in private spaces and behind closed doors. This is certainly the case for those of us who have experiences of domestic violence and generational trauma. When the nuclear family went out in public, everyone played his or her roles. There is no indication of the chaos and brutality that have occurred inside the house. Domestic violence is not uncommon. In Australia, nearly 3 million people witnessed violence towards one parent from a partner before 15 years of age. Imagine the scale of this hidden violence and residual trauma. This exhibition seeks to capture and express the intensity of emotions experienced Behind Closed Doors.