POST GRAD STUDENT - Graduate Diploma of Arts - Anthropology
Notes on me today and why I have decided to undertake more Uni study:
3 February 2020
I've been a generalist primary school teacher, a printmaker, a transformational coach, a musician and jazz singer. I've learnt what it is like to overcome sexual abuse as a child (not from my family), a (mental, physical and emotional) abusive first husband, single motherhood, poverty, abundance, running a business, pumping money into the business and feeling like a failure as the dollars were blown through, and it didn't really quite get off the ground financially.
I've traveled, and photographed, and written about my travels, and last year after getting really good with myself and being in a really good place, I looked deeply in the face of death via a diagnosis of endometrial cancer and explored more on it during surgery and recovery time.
Everything changed during that moment.
Life had a new level of question.
Who am I now really?
My entire focus went from trying to do it like others. Yes, even in business.
Joy was my focus. What are my capacities, how do I make every second count, and where do I focus all my attention to now to explore and maintain the joyful existence I finally found when I was told the cancer had been found early enough to be contained and had not spread outside the uterus.
I took each day as it came as I recovered. Every 10 seconds asking who am I today?
I explored many things through that three month period. Looked deeper into cross cultural lovers, experienced mismatches, looked at sexual dysfunction (via the mismatches) wondered about being a sex therapist, and as I back stepped from that idea, through the pathways of qualification, I found Anthropology.
I realised I had spent most of my life in a C-PTSD bubble of introversion the result of sexual abuse while a child, nearly being murdered around the same time by an insistent, metal bar wielding male pressing down on my throat, and then it was compounded by the years of domestic violence and, yes, even the stress and the toll on my nervous system during early parenthood.
This recognition of choosing a lifestyle to protect me from hurt from the outer world, fell apart during last years recovery. It was no longer necessary. Just like giving birth, or watching the death of someone really close, cancer is an intense life experience.
I felt I shifted from an intensely micro state into the macro during my experience. This is an exciting way forward. And I am somewhat surprised to discover this new part of me thats been hidden and is now on the threshold waiting to blossom and evolve.
Alongside this past years experiences, has been a gradual re-imagination of what an Art practice looks like. I began this hesitant process early last year. Today I recognise that it hasn't been something I have ever really owned fully. And yet, art has been the one thing that kept me nourished though out last year and I acknowledge it is the place I return to and have done so, over and over again throughout my entire life.
Driving out to my studio at Woodend gave me a sense of peace every time, it started as a gentle time out after my last child had left home the previous year, nourished me when I was feeling so unwell and got my diagnosis, and it grew to the place where it was a time to find me.
Starting out so raw and hesitant at first... nervous starts of paint to canvas, beginning my first big work, fiddling with collage, sorting through the piles of overstuffed tubs, perusing folders of previous works has been like removing shackles, which to this day, continue lifting off me.
This gradual discovery over the last year or so of what it is to feel at peace with such joy in communion with the creative process (without the left brain conclusions and judgments), has been the deepest and most sweetest journey. But, what has that to do with Anthropology you ask?
Well, for me i am discovering that reading about Anthropology from an Artist perspective and beginning to studying others who combine the both as a practice, feels like a complete circle for me. Honestly, it feels like I just stepped onto a true path of ME. And I had no idea.