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Performing rituals - Tracie Peisley - Artist blog on collage
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Performing rituals

Sometimes it’s not enough to draw, paint and sculpt, sometimes I have to physically embody an experience to process deeply held trauma or conflict that begs for expression to be processed and understood.
Sorting through my studio… this is a mixed media piece of a ritual I made some years ago, (2006?) connecting with my infant self.
Studying Art Therapy at Hertfordshire University, I felt compelled to make a powerful and intimate performance. I asked Sue Carfrae if she would be both photographer and witness. It’s taken some years to fully comprehend, but through it, I became both infant and mother and Grandmother.
ritualsI made a wreath of flowers and lights and a black wig that I lay within. An infant when my mother lost her mother to cancer, I suspect I felt abandoned losing my mother to grief and my grandmother at the same time. A time when I was developing a sense of self. This enormous grief lays within me.
At times of difficulty, I sense two small hands hover in front of me as if of an angel. I like to believe these hands are my Grandmother’s hands, she adored me. I find it soothing to hold these imaginary hands.
Using photographs from the performance, infancy and thread, I created this collage.
Photograph by Sue Carfrae