When I was two I sat in that window seat and the Spring sunshine spun my hair into gold. I had been playing with a bright blue ball. I don’t remember this – obviously. I have a photograph that my Mum took and the look on my face says ‘you are my world’.
When I was nine my Mum’s Husband pinned me by my neck to that window. It wasn’t his hand around my throat that I particularly remembered -no, what did stay with me for years afterwards was the feeling of his spit on my face. Some of his saliva went into my mouth and like a seed it grew into a twisted vine of anger and hate.
When I was 15 I punched that window. It was like a silent movie – my anger always stifled any sound. My skin was torn and my blood was everywhere. It was as if my anger found a voice and it was RED. I had to have 300 stitches – I counted them. To this day I can’t fully straighten my fingers.
At 22 I was separated from all that was familiar to me in the name of therapy. By then my arms were covered in scars, and not all of them given to me by the window. I refused to engage with myself. I ignored my own voice, I tried starvation, I picked at old wounds and cried in RED. Eventually I talked and I listened – initially I pruned the vine until I felt strong enough to hack at it and finally dig out the roots.
I made the sculpture out of metal – I designed it and I made it. Sweat, blood and tears formed it. I traced the lines of my scars and re-worked the shapes. I knew exactly where I wanted it to go. It fits perfectly in that window and reminds me that sometimes what we are trying to keep in is more harmful than the things we want to keep out.