I have always believed that we create our own life. It is a hard topic to tackle and I in no way wish to lead you off point here, so suffice it to say that I believe we create our circumstances on the same level as we ourselves are created of the same matter as all of our surroundings. However, with this incredible power comes a great responsibility, because it also means we not only create what is good in our lives, but we also create our own suffering, and in the worse cases, the suffering of others.
During the course of my marriage and during my divorce, I sought the help of therapists, psychiatrists, coaches, psychics, astrologers, healers, friends, and family. Within all of their advice, a common theme began to arise. It was told to me in many different ways that I had constructed a cage for myself. A place where there was no door out, because I had not made room for one and could not visualize one.
When artist Melise Mestayer presented me with her contribution to STATE OF THE UNION, its relevance to not only my marriage, but to my divorce was poignant. Melise’s art practice includes abstract sculptures and installations made from primarily reclaimed materials. “Reclaimed” was a word that resonated with me.
Melise had made a sculpture from twigs, wire and thread. It was formed into a bell shaped object and hung from a long wire. It looked like an impossible birdcage, as it had no entry or exit. It was a dysfunctional bell as it could not hold or make a sound. Yet, it was an open structure and had an animal been contained within, it could have, guided by instinct, ingenuity, or mere will, fashioned a way out. This thought struck me. Where I had previously seen no way out, had one not presented itself once I believed it to be possible?
I took this sculpture to the house I had shared with my ex-husband. The house was located 3 miles up in the Santa Monica Mountains, a very secluded location. It was set back from the road, a road that was the only way in and out of the area, a thought that had often frightened me while living there during Los Angeles’ fire and flood seasons. At the end of the driveway was an iron gate. I took a picture of Melise’s sculpture in front of that gate. I had thought that house a prison at one point in my life, which had resulted in another art piece years ago. But, hadn’t I always been able to open the gate? I believe where there is a will, a way will always be presented.