One of the pieces I entered into the Cloth, Paper Scissors Artisan Search 2011 was Insecurity Wears a Black Shroud. This piece was 3 years and 15 days in the making; from conception to completion.
Insecurity was inspired by a conversation about why, as humans, we engage in certain activities and what shadow effects keep us from engaging in other activities. In particular, my friend Karen and I were talking about things we did as kids, like going to summer camps or other activities away from home.
Later, as I thought more about this conversation, an image for this piece emerged so strongly that I had to stop what I was doing at that moment and sketch out my vision. What I realized is that I did not participate in many activities as a kid due to insecurity. I was afraid to be away from home. I was afraid of failing. I lacked confidence in many areas. And I didn’t always have the encouragement from those around me to try new things.
Sadly those feelings carried over into my adult life in other ways.
Eventually I learned to try new things and not to worry if I wasn’t great at it or if I made a fool of myself. But the emotions that rose to the surface after that conversation still felt raw and very real. I don’t often create art inspired by such emotions. Heck, I don’t often have a vision for a piece appear so strongly and vividly. It had to be captured on paper and brought to life.
Insecurity’s face is slightly distorted, hiding the pain and anguish she feels. Her body is hollow, formed over a tube. On the exterior are long black wings, representing the shroud we wear to hide our insecurities. Below her wings are the faces and words that tie us to our feelings of insecurity.
However, all is not lost, for under the feathers around Insecurity’s neck, is the word Hope. And in the center of her body rests a ruby charm embedded in words of loving kindness.
Materials: Polymer clay, gold leaf, ruby charm, rubber stamps, feathers, beads, acrylic paint, wood, molding paste. Dimensions: 16.5″h; 4″x4″ (base)
Amy A. Crawley, 2010
Insecurity Wears a Black Shroud is one of my favorite pieces. She is very personal to me and represents a true sense of accomplishment. She reminds me to never give up. To take a leap knowing that the net will appear.