For over 20 years I have practiced art as a healing modality. The art I create comes to me in an organic fashion. I put out art supplies; engage in the creative process; and accept whatever emerges. This “organic” way of creating, for me, is liberating, healing, and spiritual. Sometimes these liberal creations warrant further exploration, whether it be from a material or a conceptual standpoint. Like the fabric “Womb Openings” that I plan to create during my Naked State residency. Exploring this much maligned female body part is both a personal quest and a cultural necessity. What better place to investigate the womb than in Mother Nature – the womb in which we all thrive.
What better population to share a naked body part with than people comfortable with their nakedness. How will these naturists react to the simplistic art rendering of a larger than life-sized fabric womb opening, hanging from a tree? Will they see this art as a statement about the ill treatment of females? Or will they see it as a celebration of the sacred feminine? Maybe the absurdity of a giant fabric vulva or two in the woods will make them laugh? Or will they think it vulgar? Perhaps they’ll be intrigued and have the desire to enter them? Labia were showing up in my art works in clay, fabric, drawings, collages, and paintings. It was as if my artworks were shouting to me to, “Pay attention!” The feminine has been closed up, scarred over, sealed off from its complete and beautiful essence. As a woman and an artist, I feel strongly that the womb needs to be honoured in our world again, as it once was in ancient times. I researched the womb opening, from a metaphoric perspective, and discovered myths that embrace the womb as a symbolic form of rebirth in many ancient tales. Will the womb openings raise the awareness of the need to improve the status of the feminine in our present world? I don’t know. I do know that as an artist motivated by an organic force I must create and share them. I will sew together large “walk-in” fabric womb openings to place out in nature at Bare Oaks. Weather permitting, I will invite participants to walk through the “Symbolic Womb of Rebirth” after partaking in an expressive arts session.
Dee Calzavara is a mature artist living in “small town” south-western Ontario. After ending a career of 16 years as a registered nurse she switched it up with training in Fine Arts. To that mix she added a degree focusing on Spirituality. Dee successfully utilized art and creativity to heal from a life altering tragedy. Following her 15 year retrospective art show called, “Creativity as Healing…when life goes to pieces”, she became an Expressive Arts Practitioner and Open Studio Process Facilitator, allowing her the joy of encouraging creativity in others. Her feminist approach in art comes from her dedication to the organic movement of sisterhood.