This is EDTC’s submission to the yearly contest IMAGINE ME for the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals –iaedp:
Much like the universe is in constant expansion, recovery is an expansion of awareness and understanding of oneself. Our mannequin draws inspiration from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” which was painted in a time of adversity while he was in a mental hospital. In his painting, the sky is not photorealistic, but still captivating and expressive in its uniqueness.
Our piece also features our take of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” which we used to symbolize breaking out of the perfect porcelain mask and choosing instead to allow ourselves emotions, even if they’re not sparkling smiles. We also explored the silent scream of Eating Disorders – a scream for help and scream to silence the critical voice inside.
On the backside of the mannequin, we explored the concept of space to challenge perspective. In recovery, we learn the truth that we are so much more than a thin, flimsy mannequin. The world is much bigger than the body/food focus world we have lived in within our heads. Our lives / our world contains a whole universe that’s just waiting to be explored!
Our artistic medium of choice was acrylic paint and nail polish, which allowed us the opportunity to exercise creativity, work with the fluidity of the paint. In our medium choice, we wanted to keep it simple to express that beauty isn’t as complicated as the world makes it seem. The variety of colors symbolizes the many things we go through in life – the dull moments and the bright ones, the losses, the victories, and the hope. Imagining beyond what you can see requires breaking rigid norms and learning to live without the cage of expectation and perfection, allowing yourself the space to be yourself, and affirming the multifaceted, imperfect beauty of your own unique humanity.
Contribution by Cyd Davis-Hubler, Art Therapist