My partner has gone through multiple creative phases in her life since I’ve known her. For a long time she was uncomfortable with the idea that she was not devoting her craft to one speciality, like most artists seem to do. My perspective was that we just have to listen to the call of our subconscious. Some people are called to do just one thing and it feels natural for them, whereas people like us are called to find ourselves across entire spectrums of possibilities.
I am biased towards variety to be honest. Life is short, wouldn’t we want to know ourselves and what we’re capable of in as many permutations as possible? But I guess that is exactly the sort of thought a mind like mine would think of. For others, going deeper and deeper uncovers something they seek.
So my partner has been on a fabric craft phase lately, ongoing for about two years now. Once in a while I tell her I miss her paintings – especially because I see them hung all over our apartment. This past week however, she wanted to try oil painting because she was inspired by the kdrama “Little Women“.
She asked why I particularly like her paintings. I said I like looking into her interior world. I get to know and experience her in a different dimension whenever she paints or draws something. Her fabric art brings out something of her too, but her paintings are of another world entirely. Looking at her fabric art, they are typically full of vibrance and colour:
Then we see something like this in her drawing:
I’m almost always surprised every time.
The person I first knew six-ish years ago was a very different person I know now. I would say I am 25% of my true personality if you meet me in real life, 50% if you read my writing. But for her, she was like 5% of her true personality when I first met her, I get to experience 25% of her after six years of unfolding together, but most people would still experience only 10% of her true personality if they were to meet her now.
Her expressions onto a canvas gives me insight to her interior world, a shard of the rest of the 75%. Like the painting below, we have our own omelas we bury deep inside ourselves in order to function in this world.
Once in a while, she helps to express what I cannot:
…and our relationship:
…and I also thoroughly enjoy how she interprets what she sees on our travels on the canvas:
…and occasionally it is like where did these things come from?
Again, I am sure I am biased but – look at the range. Imagine what would we be missing out if she believes that she had to stick to just one thing?
Her interior world is still a vast mystery to me, even after living with her for six years. I can never predict what she’s going to output with her hands and I enjoy being surprised. Sometimes I get fascinated by watching her in the process.
Without these I would only know and experience 25% of her. She would probably know a lot less of herself too.
Though this is a post about my partner’s interior world, my ultimate intention is to draw attention to all our interior worlds and their potentialities. What are we missing, not seeing, not knowing? From our selves, our partners, our family, our peers? Who are they beyond their surfaces?
It is not just about what we already possess within our selves, but what else can we accumulate for the rest of our lives? How do our interior worlds affect others? How else can we explore and express these worlds? Are you curious about yours?
I used to think art was worthless, due to my utilitarian upbringing. But it exposes entire worlds that would be unseen, it uncovers qualities to our lives that is so much more profound than the material world. It demonstrates that our lives are not just about the wealth and statuses we accumulate. At least for those of us who want more out of our lives beyond what society compels us to have.
I am uninterested in life in general, so much so that I am passively suicidal, always wondering what is the point of my existence. But sometimes, just sometimes. I could be convinced being able to experience the interior worlds of human beings is something that makes life worth experiencing.
It is like alchemy: we express something into existence, it transforms us and transform the witness, and it enriches the next thing we make – the cycle goes on, if we’re lucky.
all artwork by @launshae unless stated otherwise.