About Unpacking the Shadow
Years ago I read A Little Book on the Human Shadow by Robert Bly.
In the book he called this shadow
“The long bag we drag behind us”
He writes that as children, when our parents teach us that we shouldn’t do things certain things,
we begin to believe that to be loved we must rid ourselves of these aspects of who we are. We take these little parts of ourselves, and put them in this long bag we drag behind us.
This becomes “the shadow”
As we grow, there are more and more opportunities to throw aspects of ourselves into this bag.
watch our peers and try to fit in,
deal with family and relationship dynamics,
begin to doubt ourselves,
wonder about our own worth,
we remove more of ourselves and add
more to the bag.
There comes a time, however, that we need to begin to reclaim what we have lost.
This is what this exhibition is about.
In Unpacking the Shadow over 50 women have responded to the invitation to reclaim aspects of themselves. In doing so, and in creating a small art piece to represent that which they are reclaiming, they are given a voice to inspire others to do the same.
As I look at and respond to their stories with my own art, I am learning the importance of acknowledging the shadow parts of myself and begin to understand how to integrate them back into who I am.
There is gold in that bag, and to live
our richest and fullest lives,
we want to take a look.
Perhaps you’d like to join us.