Art Studio: Unspoken

'Like Shards We rise to the Surface' Part of a mail art series 'Unspoken' (Inside of a small wooden box covered padded with vintage black floral fabric, with white fabric and printed text 'like shards we rise to the surface' on white linen pinned to the inside of the lid. In the box is the broken head of a ceramic doll. The inside of the shards are covered in the black floral fabric. © Stephanie Boon, 2008 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Unspoken is the title of a series of mail art pieces I made between 2007 and 2008. The art works were sent to another artist (and eventually returned) as part of an exchange.  All the artworks in this series are fairly small because it was sent through the mail. The piece I’m showing you today is probably one of the larger, more bulky items I sent.

I bought the wooden box in a second hand shop in Penzance; I think it was probably a cigar box or something similar (it doesn’t have a lock or a catch). When I bought it, it was empty inside and didn’t have any covering – I made the fabric covering that you can see now. You might notice a recurring theme going on: once again the fabric I’ve used in this piece is from a dress I wore when I was 10 years old (decidedly vintage now!).

Like Shards We Rise To The Surface

This is the title of this particular artwork. Come and have a look inside:

'Like Shards We rise to the Surface' Part of a mail art series 'Unspoken' © Stephanie Boon, 2008 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Small wooden box

'Like Shards We rise to the Surface' Part of a mail art series 'Unspoken' (Inside of a small wooden box covered padded with vintage black floral fabric, with white fabric and printed text 'like shards we rise to the surface' on white linen pinned to the inside of the lid. In the box is the broken head of a ceramic doll. The inside of the shards are covered in the black floral fabric. © Stephanie Boon, 2008 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Inside (open box)

'Like Shards We rise to the Surface' Part of a mail art series 'Unspoken' (Inside of a small wooden box covered padded with vintage black floral fabric, with white fabric and printed text 'like shards we rise to the surface' on white linen pinned to the inside of the lid. In the box is the broken head of a ceramic doll. The inside of the shards are covered in the black floral fabric. © Stephanie Boon, 2008 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Detail of the text pinned to the lid with dress-makers pins

'Like Shards We rise to the Surface' Part of a mail art series 'Unspoken' (Inside of a small wooden box covered padded with vintage black floral fabric, with white fabric and printed text 'like shards we rise to the surface' on white linen pinned to the inside of the lid. In the box is the broken head of a ceramic doll. The inside of the shards are covered in the black floral fabric. © Stephanie Boon, 2008 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Detail: broken doll’s head

'Like Shards We rise to the Surface' Part of a mail art series 'Unspoken' (Inside of a small wooden box covered padded with vintage black floral fabric, with white fabric and printed text 'like shards we rise to the surface' on white linen pinned to the inside of the lid. In the box is the broken head of a ceramic doll. The inside of the shards are covered in the black floral fabric. © Stephanie Boon, 2008 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Details of the broken doll’s head

I don’t know whether you find it helpful when I explain a weird-looking piece that I’ve made and I’m conflicted as to whether I should or not! Art is a visual language, so really it shouldn’t need explaining with words. But then again, seeing it here as a two-dimensional photograph takes it completely out of context and you can’t touch it or see it from other angles…  I’ve just convinced myself haven’t I?!

This art work, I think, is intensely personal and universal at the same time.  I think that’s why it’s one of my favourites from more recent years. I don’t want to tell you how to think about it or interpret it, but I’m happy to give an insight into the sort of thoughts and things that were occupying me when I made it.

I was going through an intensely difficult episode of chronic depression at the time and therapy comes with the territory. This piece came out of explorations of childhood experiences, deep emotions, feeling broken and not knowing how to put it back together. Or even if it was worth putting back together. But it could be about any time of life really. Maybe it’s about getting inside your head and discovering what lies there untouched, buried and forgotten. Maybe it’s about keeping it all in a box. Maybe it’s about how fragile and easily broken we are. Perhaps the porcelain doll’s head represents an ideal, a kind of perfection that’s longed for but doesn’t (or can’t) exist.  I’ll leave you to ponder, maybe it will mean something entirely different to you?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick dip into my archive (aka my ‘under the bed box of art stuff’!), I’ll be back tomorrow for Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s Quilts and look forward to seeing you then. Enjoy the rest of the day.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

 

 

7 replies
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Oooh, Deb, that’s wonderful, thank you! It’s always so lovely to hear what other people ‘get’ from your work and it opens up other ideas to take forward. That’s why I always say art is a dialogue and there’s no point (for some people) in doing it if you can’t show it to others and start a conversation. I love the idea of dream symbolism 🙂

      Reply
  1. Lynne Nicholson
    Lynne Nicholson says:

    I love it. Right now my brain is the box and the doll’s head my emotions as I feel like I’m living last year again as I have another operation coming up. Am hoping it won’t be a full repeat though so far date was set then cancelled due to low platelets steroids started new date set lets hope that is as repeatable as it gets. The saying gives me hope as I’m hoping to rise above this. High dose of steroids is already causing water retention, moonface, itching, vision disturbance and yukky aftertaste. Still hoping all this will be a step closer to better health.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Aw Lynne, I hope it works out. My mum was on steroids for quite a while – she turned out to have a rare form of autoimmune anaemia and was eventually able to come off it (in order to take something else), so there’s hope for you too I’m sure. Take good care.

      Reply

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