Healing from trauma, whether emotional or physical, is a transformational journey. In my case it was the journey of a breast cancer diagnosis, an immediate mastectomy and the slow recovery from reconstructive surgery. But this was just the beginning.
When potters talk about pots we use anthropomorphic language. A pot has a foot, belly, neck, shoulder and lip. These very ‘human’ references describe something of the way we relate to pots. They reveal an ancient relationship between mankind and vessels, a notion of ‘pot’ that vibrates through every culture from the moment we first learned to shape mud with our hands. My pots are autobiographical. A constant making and remaking of myself. A particular expression of my humanness that I find impossible to communicate by other means. So, after mending physically from my surgery, it was through these pots that my emotional healing began. In Kintsugi, the intricate and painstaking Japanese Art of repairing pots with gold, the mended pot is considered more beautiful and precious than the original piece. It has a unique narrative of renewed life.
In my ‘wound series’ I have used rich and beautiful materials that express my own emotional wounds in this positive light…. by bleeding emerald glass or bronze glaze. But a needle both pierces and mends, so the slim Victorian knitting pins, and fine copper thread, speak about the intricate and painstaking craftsmanship of surgical repair and also of emotional repair. Suzy Rushbrook, Arts in Hospital Manager at Dorset County Hospital said: “Healing through creativity is such a valuable process and wonderful when the results are so breathtakingly beautiful” “We are hugely proud that Victoria has chosen to share her work and very personal journey with us” “We aren’t encouraging people to visit the hospital at the moment as we usually would, but cancer treatments and Chemotherapy have continued here throughout the pandemic and it’s really important to show these positive journeys of recovery to both patients and staff. The exhibition is also available to view online https://dchartsinhospital.org.uk/ and you can follow our activity on Twitter @Artsinhospital