two perspectives one truth.
each painting is: 41h x 31w x 2 depth. + side by side 63w. linen canvas in a handmade natural poplar frame. plaster, acrylic, sand, yarn, leather, ground crystal quartz, ground tourmaline, ground shells, concrete, oil, rock pigment, blue kyanite pigment.
These paintings beside each other have shared color palettes yet different tones and textures. Two separate perspectives from the same moment, in harmony beside each other. The yarn intended to represent the core beliefs that impact highlighting different moments of the same memory. Some sentences from conversations that impact you deeper than others. Supporting texture more prominent than others in the memory. Growing real understanding to what is most important to each party, learning each other’s interpretation of what makes for a meaningful memory. I've been working on these paintings for 3+ months and they are close to my heart. Each stitch, brush stroke, and contrasting detail (memory) have been placed for a reason.
I used to think the deepest way of connecting was through shared experiences, yet humans experience and interpret moments so differently. Sometimes the way we interpret situations, conversations and interactions can divide rather than connect relationships. I love learning how my loved ones interpret situations, even if it is sometimes uncomfortable. Especially if actions I’ve taken is in question.
This past year, humans have been challenged collectively on personal levels that I haven’t yet experienced in adulthood. Moral principles and core beliefs blurring into politics. Decisions and opinions about huge life altering events that can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways. Opinions made regarding an experience someone’s never had. Opinions formed because of watching someone walk through an event without knowing EXACTLY how it can impact their outlook on life. It’s hard to not let emotions blur your empathy and compassion towards others’ opinions when the stakes have been so high.
The most interesting conflicting perspectives is siblings growing up in the same household. The shared bond of walking through experiences together, having seen and felt things that no one else has, together, a bond unlike other bonds. Yet, some memories can be digested so differently that the pain felt from discrediting a monumental moment in your own story can be devastating. Questioning if you blew a statement out of proportion, or if the entire memory was conflicting with reality. Similarities in shared moments, and different takes on what happened without explaining why/how you came to that conclusion is the cause of most divides in relationships. In the same sense, it can allow for a different perspective of a moment that may have been haunting you for years, vice versa. Which can be healing in a way you may have not known you needed.
There were moments this summer where I had conversations about core memories, I held dear to my heart, yet they weren’t remembered the same way. I’ve also had to set extremely hard boundaries because of events that weren’t remembered the same way. The thing is, sometimes people can truly have a different memory or perspective and that is their VALID reality. It isn’t yours. Others can deny what happened or the role they had in the situation because it would force them to look at themselves and they may not be ready.
My healing journey has required processing events that have shaped how I perceive life and myself. The more I kept relationships around me that forced me to change memories I clearly have in my head to better suit their own denial, the more I felt my sanity slipping away. I processed my experience with this person, and it wasn’t received well. Your experience CAN BE DENIED, and it CAN STILL BE TRUE TO YOU. I had to learn and cope with the reality that I didn’t need that validation, or that huge apology or pledge of trying something different.
I’ve also been on the other side of the table. I’ve had friendships end in which I truly hurt some of the most important people I’ll ever met, and I can deeply empathize with how terribly I hurt them. At first, I had a completely different experience, reacting out of fear of rejection/abandonment MY OWN BELIEFS, nothing to do with them. Sometimes empathy isn’t enough, damage caused, and our perspectives of a situation can simply not be able to shift no matter how much that relationship meant to you. I’ve had to accept that I was the good guy in some stories, and the bad guy in others. Accepting that has been so freeing; and it allowed closure in relationships were there was no use in replaying the tape over and over.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is that I can be open to other perspectives without discounting my own. Shared experiences sometimes are not shared at all. Others are connected, divine and not forced. Those are memories I want to keep creating. Without ignoring the knowledge that even in the moments you are trying your hardest to be kind, real, and present; you can never control the perspective of others. Quickly talking about how you perceived a situation to be negative is the only way I want to live. To be open, curious, and empathetic to other people’s opinions, views, and life lessons. Processing how you see a certain situation can save relationships, can prevent some really damaging resentments, and in my relationships today it’s one of the deepest acts of love.