Drawing trauma

I am encouraged by creative potential and process. What started as a photograph of pieces of glass, became the milieu to explore, express, and externalise my daily experience as a late discovery adoptee. From January to August 2020 I worked on this graphic on iPad, to find my way out of trauma. The end result: Pick up the baby!

The Frames are labelled:

The Raw Glass: depicts using pieces of beach glass, the Greek and British ethnicity of my parents, the ‘spaceship’ which was my mother’s womb, and my being dropped into a world of trauma distorted by her absence, with added abuse.

The Delivery: expelled from the mothership before she left.

The Drop: represents the oft repeated sensation of falling through a trapdoor.

The Wait: the weeks of waiting in the BFA ward before being picked up by my mum. In that time I learned not to cry and that no one is listening.

The Fog: growing up in a cold town in NSW – symbolic of detachment and the secrecy of my adoption.

The Light: is inspired by Josh Groban’s Higher Window, and For King & Country’s Shoulders. The stained glass windows are in the UK and were donated by my great aunt Martha Dunning. I like to think she prayed for future Dunning offspring. I’m in my favourite garment, my purple dressing gown, and I’m picking up the crying baby me. Pick up the baby permits me to take time out, self soothe and connect with my early experience of protest, despair, detach (Bowlby).

Pick up the baby!