ART DIARY: PAINTING ON WALLS

We all have childhood memories that have somehow shaped us and the path we’ve taken. In this post I’ll tell you about one of mine and how it’s been popping up in my life lately.

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I have a childhood memory that is associated with a lot of shame for me. It’s a memory from when I was still living in Poland and I was five or younger. We lived in a suburb just south of Warsaw in a typical high-rise apartment block constructed in the 70s during the communist era. We lived on the 8th floor out of ten and could see really far, the area was flat and there were not many trees to obstruct the view. I loved to paint on the sidewalks with my multicoloured crayons and one day, coming in from playing outside, I started drawing on the pipes in the staircase outside of our apartment.

Some time later there was a knock on the door, my mother was away and my grandmother was taking care of me and my younger brother. When we opened the door the caretaker of the buildings stood outside with an upset look on his face.

"Did your kids draw in the staircase?", he asked with a voice full of anger. 

My grandmother, who was short and thin yet impressive, threw him a look that would kill anyone, if looks could kill.

"Of course not", my grandmother answered in a high and dismissive tone.

"My well behaved grandchildren would NEVER do that!"

Ooops. I remember being flooded by shame and just wanting to sink through the floor. Silently I backed away, trying to make myself as small and invisible as possible. 

Needless to say I haven’t painted on walls since then and as far as possible I always try not to make people upset with my actions.

As I get older and dig into what has shaped me as a person this memory always come up. The shame and also the feeling of being invisible. I didn’t draw on the pipes to make anyone upset. I did it from a pure place of creative joy. The last half a year or so I’ve been having this strong urge to draw on a wall. Actually just any wall would be fine, I longed for the act of drawing, with a pen on a wall. To meet and conquer old demons, to resurrect that small child who made herself invisible. 

Even now, as I write this, I get emotional. Preparing this post I started googling my old neighbourhood and the images I found threw me back to another place and another time.  

The wall that I chose to draw on this time is in a hallway on the second floor of the apartment block where I live. This act of drawing really helped me to release what needed to be released from that memory, to take yet another step forward on my path to freedom. 

Thanks for reading and sharing my journey with me and if you have a wall that you would like a painting on let me know, I’m looking for more walls to paint on. Or, by any means, do a painting on the wall yourself. 

You can read more about my journey in other Art Diary posts.

 

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