Art: Bubbled Up
For the past few months, I have been deeply involved with researching, practicing and making art about healthy boundaries. Being a highly sensitive, empathetic person, my environment affects me greatly. This can either be a really positive or a really negative experience, depending on what I have allowed into my bubble. Because boundaries are permeable, I have a daily practice of calibrating my filter to allow in what is necessary and helpful, and to reject that of which is an unnecessary, negative distraction.
The word “boundary” may instigate thoughts of defensiveness, impenetrable castle walls and an overall sense of secrecy, but to me, boundaries are an invitation for closeness. They are a validation of accepting each other’s differences, which is a form of love and trust. Boundaries create a separation between individuals, which actually enhances our link to one another. Boundaries inspire self-sufficiency, allow a freedom to grow and congratulate uniqueness. When two individuals are fully “bubbled-up”, they can truly respond to each other with love, versus reacting out of fear.
So naturally, an obvious physical boundary for me to think about is skin. I have been making work about skin for about 15 years now, but have always focused on the “permeable” qualities that skin has to offer. Now I am thinking about fish scales and how they function. Fish scales are like protective armor and they help reduce friction from the fish’s environment- allowing the fish to move forward.