As a way of processing the losses and challenges brought about by the pandemic, students at The Seattle School began to create—through painting, poetry, photography, and many other mediums. Art is a tactile way to express the grief, pain, and longing, moving these emotions out of one’s body into the open. Here, we share a gallery of visual artwork created by our students that walks us through the life we once knew and the life that will be.
“How are you grieving? In what creative and available ways have you found for your body to express its pain?” Melissa Deeken, MATC and MACP student
Sacred Space is curating a virtual gallery to offer space to communally share how we are processing in this season. They would love to be witnesses to the ways our students have been showing up with themselves to grieve and lament. Follow this link to submit artwork, a written piece, a musical recording, or any other form of processing.
“This piece reflects what this time has allowed/required me to do—slow down. Amidst that slowness, I’ve been surprised to receive guidance, support and blessings from the plant allies that are providing food, medicine, and keeping our ecosystems in balance at all times and especially now amidst pandemic.”
Kate Fontana’s patronus is a peregrine falcon. She thrives on ambiguity, karaoke, and the worlds of youth fantasy fiction. She struggles with single-use plastics, small-talk, and to get anywhere on time. She is a Sagittarius, an auntie, and a third-year MDiv student. You can visit her blog at www.katefontana.com.
“After an initial five weeks of enjoying the slowing down that the quarantine provided, during the fifth week I began to feel a building anxiety and a feeling of overwhelm. My process of grounding myself started with yoga, tapping exercises, and meditation. Yet while it aided in reconnecting to myself, it wasn’t until I started mixing colors on my palette and putting some force into my brush strokes that I began to feel the transfer of my emotions onto the canvas, and an eventual emotional release. There is something cathartic about mapping a color to an emotion and assembling them together into a mosaic. The process helped me identify areas where my body was holding emotional tension and where I needed to tend to myself the most.”
Yuliya is a Seattle-based photographer, writer and grad student of Counseling Psychology, playing in the intersecting spaces of trauma and creativity. You can see Yuliya’s photography at www.yuliyarae.com.
“Frida was a woman who bore her discomfort and worked through adversity. These are times of adversity and she inspires me.”
Danielle is a mother of four (ages 14, 12, 10 and 8), wife of one awesome guy, and graduating with a Masters in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. She is honored to be a regular contributor to Red Tent Living and her own blog and podcast. She plans to open a private practice. Her loves are my four children and husband. You can find the #supersixcastillejos reading Mo Willems and other various books, hiking, creating spaces for art, and adventuring together. Her heart is to bear witness to the stories untold by the marginalized, silenced, and bodies seeking healing. As a survivor herself, she fights together with clients for love, justice, truth, and honor. Learn more about Danielle by following @luisdaniellecastillejo.
“One of the ideas I’m trying on in solitude is: soft is good. Soft words, soft thoughts, soft body. This does not come naturally to me.
I like rough edges and abrasive things like critiques and analyses and freezing cold water and hard, unsquashable objects like river rocks and steel, like concrete buildings that cut the light into clean lines. Soft makes me suspicious.
A long time ago in school critiques, one of my art professors would always take my hands. Cracked, stained, maybe bleeding, they bore the brunt of whatever work had just been finished. These? He would say, ignoring whatever sculpture I had hurled my body at for the past two weeks. These hands are the piece.
And this need for steel and concrete, this need to hurl myself against unyielding impenetrable boundedness is not because tough calls out to tough like deep to deep. The craving to feel cool unyielding solidity outside comes from somewhere deep within where, in a really terrifying sense, I’m soft too.
As my own boundedness grows new and fragile in some places, calloused in others, I feel the gentle but reliable edges of my own skin from the inside out. There is soft and steel in here, too. As smooth and cool as a river stone and as easily squashed as a freshly baked roll all at once.
And still: how scary to be soft. How terrifying to let the concrete be out there and grow a skeleton inside, to touch surfaces that might collapse. How strange but strong to feel the texture of my internal world softening and hardening at once, like new skin growing under a scab.”
Ellen Cline is a MACP student interested in body as an instrument of research, art, and healing. She is committed to growing out her hair during this time of isolation. She will not buzz her head. You are all witnesses. To view more of Ellen’s work, visit ellencline.me.