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By: Lizzie Thibodeau

Through reflection of my abstract work, I understood that the shapes I became accustomed to creating were wounds healing.  Recognizing that significance, I was ready to produce a gesture with more relatable images.  I worked on Dark Secret from 2003-2004.  This show was both difficult to create and to install, as I was presenting my 10-year experience of self-harming.  I wanted to have a conversation with this work and show that my experience was not about suicide or harming for attention.  For the 10 years that I hurt myself, my family never knew.  I was trying to present to the outside world that I was the perfect teenager.  I played two sports, got good grades, and tried to be happy.  The exchange for this was hurting inside.  I took the emotional pain that I felt and applied it to my body.  Creating a physical pain to mask the emotional pain made everything better, but it wasn’t all good.  I wasn’t working through my pain and more issues continued arising.  I worked hard for several years to acknowledge my past pain and processing it.  Art and this show being one of them.

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