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"Integration IV" mixed media painting by Blue Reid
My work is self-reflective. I use the dolls as an allegory for a Societal Ideal. Each sub-series depicts a facet of how humans wrestle with the concept of accepting help. The series is called “IMPLOSION” which is named for what happens when we continue to resist support and connection. These broken dolls appear trapped in resin and frozen as they insist they are fine. This theme runs through the series as the dolls discover how to allow support and heal. The “I’m Fine” Dolls have gray backgrounds. The titles are meant to invoke the moment of seeing a friend in pain and asking if they are Okay. The paintings with gold leaf in the backgrounds are titled, “Nothing to Fix” which speaks to the notion that even with our terrible stories and flaws, sometimes it is those very things that makes us so lovable, so valuable, so interesting and arguably more beautiful. The series of dolls done on red, are the one where healing has begun, and the cracks have been repaired with gold much like the Japanese art form “Kintsugi”. These cracks repaired in gold actually become the strongest and most beautiful part of the broken vessel or in this case, doll. Last, are the dolls done with an aqua background and the doll appears marbled. These paintings are titled, “Integration” and are about how we integrate the broken parts and learn to accept and even love some of the broken stuff that we are. I occasionally receive feedback about the dolls being creep and I allow that, that can be the experience of the viewer, but to they are a sacred journey of coming to terms with trauma and owning all the parts of one’s self, fractured though they might be, to afford the viewer an opportunity for healing to happen. The larger paintings share more of the individual doll’s awkward experiences with seeking out support. No dolls were harmed in this process!