HOW I CAME TO LOVE THE MOLE ON MY NOSE
The journey of this extraordinary artistic series of life-sized mixed media self-portraits stands as a true testimonial to patience, determination, and commitment. In 2006, I had the good fortune to see an amazing exhibition of Body Maps created by HIV positive women in Africa. In each map, the participants had outlined their bodies creating highly personal self-portraits. The body mapping process is highly effective in triggering many emotional memories that often times become buried or lay hidden due to many factors we face when it comes to our day to day living of life.
Wanting to create a similar opportunity for the exploration and often times rediscovery of who one really is, I decided to take a focus on the body as a whole and how it affected the way in which we move through the world. It began with me asking each artist to think about one very important question -
“If a dead man in fact tells no tales, then why through the modern use of forensic medicine have we been able to successfully reconstruct events about an individual's life hundreds of thousands of years ago, long after they have left us?”
I knew this would be unlike any exhibit I’d mounted before. The show was about acknowledging what for me is becoming a very sad truth. In our advancement as human beings we have become lost within our own layers of false identity. Hiding behind the fact that for most of us, less than 25% of what makes us who we are is visible, which means the other 75% is internalized. Remaining for the most part, a buried secret that many of us will unfortunately take to our graves. If art is about revealing oneself, then with the body maps would have the possibility of hitting the mother lode.
Natural healers have long known about the effectiveness of creating and reading human body maps in order to successfully treat both physical symptoms and their emotional causes more directly.
Now that the maps are finally done, I am able to see what really attracted me to the idea of doing them in the first place. Having taken more than three years to mount, the Body Maps exhibition and this book now stand as a beautiful document of one moment in time when we as human beings came together in celebration of the courage and strength we all carry within to share out loud whatever it is that makes each and everyone of us uniquely individual.
Terence E Jackson