I'd had a transparency of Helen Keller sitting around for ages. I love the image . . . one hand on a book, the other lovingly stroking a dog. I won't pretend to know enough about Helen Keller to state that it was her dog. I do know that she gave interviews for several magazines, so the sweet canine in the image could have been a prop. Nonetheless, the image speaks volumes, as does the life of Helen Keller. Which got me thinking. As I am prone to do when messing around with these ATCs.
Helen Keller was born sighted and able to hear. She lost her vision and hearing during childhood and became unruly and out of control around others. Enter Anne Sullivan, her teacher, her companion, her friend. Anne Sullivan opened the world to Helen Keller. And Helen Keller embraced it for all it was worth. She made a choice, and in the process became one of the most inspiring and compelling figures in American history.
We mixed-media types love texture. Crave it, admire it, seek it out in our little works of art. Imagine how important texture is to someone who is blind. Imagery through tactile perception. How do you feel beauty? How do you interpret color and placement and composition and depth? All through your sense of touch. In the absence of sight and sound, the hands are the conduits by which we experience our vast and wonderous world.
I attempted to represent the importance of texture in this ATC by using a variety of media. The uneven edges and smooth face of the mica, the rusted pieces of wire, the crumpled piece of sheet music. Dried flowers, torn and aged paper. Clipped vintage text. The burned, frayed edges and graphic weave of the mull. All mounted on a base of distressed bookboard. It is my hope that this card promotes the idea that we have a conscious choice in our lives despite what may be seemingly insurmountable circumstances. Trust our senses, trust our perceptions, and they will ultimately lead us to a place of beauty and peace.
Ciao for now.