Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sharing the Dance

One evening during the summer of 1993 I awoke from my sleep with the images from my dream still present within the room. The dream had been of women of all ages and cultural backgrounds, in ceremonial dress, joyously dancing together. While they were interconnected, they also were respectful of each others boundaries. Their presence was so compelling that I got out of bed and began to sketch what I was seeing and write notes of the details if the images.

Two days later, an interior designer who sometimes commissioned me to create art for her clients called me and told me get her some sketches of women of all ages and cultural backgrounds, in ceremonial dress interacting together interdependently in a shared space. She was not able to tell me why she needed these drawings but conveyed that it was for an important project. Over time, I have grown to not be surprised by my dreams but, in this case, both she and I were stunned by the fact that I already had the rough drawing that she needed. I submitted the work to her and several months later, I was informed that my concept had been unanimously chosen by the Omaha YWCA Board of Directors to be recreated to commemorate their 100th anniversary.

It was both and honor and a joy to create "Sharing the Dance." As is the case in all of my major work, it became a part of me during the time that it was flowing from my mind and hands and taking form as colors, shapes and lines upon paper. "Sharing the Dance" felt like it was inspired, through me, by spirit. I continued to dream about it throughout the time that I was engrossed in its birthing and each woman that I drew spoke to me and became a manifestation of healing and awareness for the part of me that related to them. The majority of their clothing were adaptations of garments that I had designed and painted on silk fabrics, but two of the garments are embellished with motifs that are symbolic of the logo of the YWCA.


The completed work, a large mixed media drawing, hangs in the Omaha YWCA and it was reproduced and sold as a signed and numbered limited edition print. My most profound wish was that whomever saw the work would be able to experience the power of what I had felt while creating it. Later that year, the work was displayed at a large women's conference and the theme of the drawing was incorporated into a closing presentation. After the conference had ended, a young woman tearfully approached me and said that she wanted me to know the healing power she had felt while observing the picture and said that she had never before realized the significance of the support and community shared by women. Her words not only validated my work, but filled my heart with joy. My journey upon the path of artful healing for the human spirit had begun.

Information regarding purchasing of "Sharing the Dance" can be found here

5 comments:

Stacy Wills said...

goosebumps!!!

Sue O'Kieffe said...

ive so enjoyed reading this series. awesome woman are you!
~sueokieffe

chris zydel said...

Just found your site and I love your work. It's such a joy to find another creative sister!

Sandra Mosley said...

I came here via a Mandala Oasis posting.

Beautiful art work and prose! Thank you for sharing your talent and wisdom.

cheryl said...

Kate,
This is an amazing piece. And the poster really stirs me! I can't wait to get my poster/print.
Your gifts are sacred..thanks for sharing them.
:) Cheryl