One of the unplanned joys & unparalleled privileges that has come with having a space like CURA has been the opportunity to witness women take risks and step into periods of true transformation.
The number of “firsts” that we’ve been a small part of from facilitating a woman’s first exploration of building a social enterprise with Massai women beaders in Kenya, to being the first brick and mortar selling a woman’s new wellness products, to witnessing my own business partner leave a meaningful, secure job to commit more fully to CURA, never did I imagine we would serve and witness such powerful, smart, gifted women be SO. DAMN. BRAVE.
It’s really almost too much to bear, so when I read Melanie’s Biehle's artist statement for her latest body of work Metamorphosis-Half Century debuting at CURA on January 18th, not gonna lie, I flat out cried. The work and her process itself is enough to move you, when you read about the motivation though, it takes her art to a whole different level of meaning.
"For most of my life, I didn't understand my motivation, underlying fears, or how to unravel the longstanding cord of anxiety that had wrapped itself tightly around the core essence of my being. In the summer of 2019, just several months before my 50th birthday, I finally got to know myself. My true self, the one buried beneath all of the stories and layers and years.
It wasn't a relaxing summer – the process of getting there was intense! It started with the discovery of Human Design, a sort of "roadmap" of who we are based on a blend of astrology, the I Ching, Kabbalah, the chakra system, and quantum physics. After I devoured that information, I continued with deep self-exploration through online workshops on topics like "reparenting your inner child" and "facing your shadow self." Everything I learned was then reiterated through studying the book The Presence Process by Michael Brown.
While the initial concept of this collection was filtered through society's blinders, the deeply emotional work that I did over the summer took the series into much more intimate territory. Fear of aging, deteriorating beauty, running out of time…these are not the editorial or societal stories that I’m interested in exploring in my work or life. Metamorphosis: Half-Century is about boldly embracing the second half of my time on this planet. It’s about how I will show up in this world. Who I choose to spend time with. Where I will direct my thoughts and energy. It’s about taking ownership of my life. Changing myself from the inside out. Letting go of old patterns and thoughts that no longer fit into the “me” I have created.
Very often it is society's blinders that encourage us to keep the blind spots of our true selves intact. To hold on to outdated versions of ourselves, keeping fear embedded deep within us. I say we acknowledge the fear. Together. Then we unleash it.”
Don’t mind me if I’m weeping at the opening reception, promise it’s a happy cry.