© 2012 victoriadelgadillo

Silenced

I created this watercolor painting in 1998. I painted it after my bout with a fibroid tumor that made me menstruate 3 out of 4 weeks each month for a few years. I realize this is a very personal topic and one that is not meant for social conversation. However, in art everything goes, whether you purposefully want it to be revealed or if it appears in your work on a subconscious level.

Once one experiences this tumor and goes through the process–which can be a grave matter or (in my case) a routine operation in our times of modern western science–many friends come forward revealing that they also had one. For most women this tumor represents the inability to procreate. Such was the case when I was recuperating in my hospital bed. Nurses and staff members came to give me condolences and to testify about “their operation,” emphasizing that it should not be considered the end of womanhood. Oddly, my artist friends thought as I did, that it was a relief and a somewhat liberating shortcut to the usual body changes.

Before getting the operation, I tried to deal with it holistically through Chinese medicine. For more than a year, I received acupuncture treatments and would feel better, but the tumor was too pronounced.

In spite of not being a great believer in drugs and extreme medical treatments, I do have faith in a combination of nutritional therapy, ancient medicines and modern science. In our lifetime of urban stress, pollution, bioengineered foods and chemical fallouts, healthy alternatives must be actively sought out.

I created this painting with the help of my acupuncturist Arno Yap. Although a professional can see that the needles are placed artistically rather than accurately, it is a blissful painting of a natural balance of the physical body. This painting has been in storage since 1998, because although to me it is a depiction of triumph, it has been rejected by others. I think because it may represent something else to the viewer, something that was not my intent and that I have no control over. I am use to being silenced, finding out (upon arriving to a reception) that, “there just wasn’t enough room” for my art in an exhibit. I am very familiar with the euphemism.

 

 

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