Sunday, 11 January 2015

ROAR don't mewl

During this second week of Apotheké I have certainly been in need of self care. Anxiety can creep up on you very suddenly, without reason or warning, and throw your life into temporary disarray. Making the simplest decisions becomes a mammoth task. You have no energy or desire to face the world. Which makes taking care of yourself imperative, and being brave a necessity, in order to get through your days as painlessly and "normally" as possible.

Perhaps this is why I make so much art about being brave. A phrase that has been helping me as I prepare for the following week is "Courage, dear heart". It is spoken by Aslan to Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia - and being a lion, of course, Aslan is the symbol of bravery, a symbol I have employed in my work before (particularly in On Being Soft). The phrase comforts and calms me, and reminds me that it is courageous to even go about my daily life when I feel like this. It is brave to persevere when you are afraid, even if what you are afraid of is illogical and inconsequential. 

I embroidered "Courage, dear heart" on to an orange floral ribbon; orange, because artist Judy Chicago wrote in her Autobiography of a Year that orange is the colour of anxiety. I agree with her; the colour is hot and acidic, and captures something of the sheer panic of anxiety. And so the potion's label, "Roar don't mewl potion", is orange, too. Autobiography of a Year must have been working its way around my subconscious for a few years, because Apotheké too is an autobiography of a year.

What else could I accompany the potion with than a miniature big cat; perfect for a lion in training.

Remember you can get involved too, via the hashtag #secretsofselfpreservation, by writing about a simple way you plan to, or already do, take care of yourself. Alternatively, you can create your own embroidered (or written on paper) potion - just remember to include the hashtag #secretsofselfpreservation along with your snaps of it.

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