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.