The dark night of the soul must have been an obvious title for you once you started putting the show together.
When I was researching titles, I wanted a title that not only spoke about the subject of transformation, but also to have a magickal reference as well. I came across an article called “The Dark Knight of the Soul.” It was about a woman who started a clinic to help people recover from the misuse of meditation and the negative effects it can have if you don’t know the process in which meditation takes you through. She wrote about the idea of the “the dark night of the soul”, and from there I started my own research on this phrase, as it apparently was one that is well-known throughout many different spiritual traditions. They all have the same basic meaning: a time when one loses all meaning and purpose for what they are doing, feeling, being, etc. But what is important to understand about this time is that it is a transition. It is a time of letting go of what is no longer serving us and preparing for what will serve us next.
How did the fashion industry influence each of these series?
I was still working in the fashion industry at the time many of these drawings were being created, so there is a heavy fashion influence in most of the works in this show. For example, in Disintegration I used mutilated dress forms as my way of communicating that I had or was losing purpose, meaning, and who I was at the time.
The fashion influence is set-aside in the next series, Crippling, and is more about understanding and accepting what I was going through. Then the influence of fashion reemerges in the third series, Form, as well as the last few drawings in the show, where I continued to examine other parts of who I was, as well as how I was changing and utilizing different styles of forms to express this.
Form is the last in the series. What culminated, or came together in Form? Is it the end of the dark night of the soul?
These pieces came from a place that helped me question who I was, as well as how the environment I was in at the time contributed to how I was feeling and seeing myself. These figures symbolize the feeling of being trapped, restricted and above all, giving me a false sense of self.
Considering the works that came after the initial three series, would you say that you are out of the dark night of the soul?
I’m out of the darkness, that’s for certain, but the process is not quite finished. There is still some work ahead. I will say that I am not in the same place as I was when these pieces first came about.
What’s the Dawn?
My magickal practices and art are keys to completing this phase, which is finding new purpose. And with these two aspects of my life combined, I will lay the foundation to what I do next.
Do you think that things will come full circle and you’ll get back to the fashion industry?
The commercial fashion industry? No. But fashion has always been important to me and it always finds a way back into my work. I feel now, more than ever, that as my work progresses, I will move more into the fashion realm, but more on a sculptural level.