Fractured Brilliance


Fractured Brilliance: Styrofoam, paper mache, shattered mirror, and grout. www.carolineallen.com

Over the past month in my studio, I’ve been working on a mosaic (see picture above). Usually I build the structure from scratch, but have been overwhelmed by world events, emotionally and psychically, and after writing my own novels and coaching clients on their books, I had very little energy left.

So, I bought a styrofoam head from a nearby second hand store. I paper mached it to create a longer more striking face…and even that process was lackadaisical. I couldn’t find the passion. A friend came to visit and saw the paper mached head, and we both agreed it needed more work.

I was just too tired to take it on. So, I made an executive decision. I would leave it as is, and just see. I took a full-length mirror I found in the trash, smashed it with a hammer. Oh I do love smashing things with hammers. I affixed the mirrors to the head using a tile glue, waited for it to dry, put on old work gloves and smeared grout into the cracks.

All night I was filled with the energy of shattered mirrors. I felt like I was a shattered mirror, all reflection and sharp edges. I fell into a hard sleep and had a dream. In the dream I was told the phrase: Fractured Brilliance. I was told we are all born brilliant and over time that brilliance is fractured.

I guess the moral of the story is that even if you’re tired, even if you’re feeling utterly fractured by global environmental catastrophes, you can do your art; you can do art that reflects your visceral feelings about this blessed planet. And even a so-so process can result in a beautiful object, a beautiful epiphany.

I’m a writing coach and offer a free initial consultation. www.artofstorytellingonline.com

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