When we begin a day, we can never know just who or what might cross our path and how that “crossing” will impact our lives.
You’re “crossing paths” with our new blog, the Cairn & Cloud Chronicle!
In the Cairn Project, we experienced the power of the creative arts to help us mend from the effects of trauma. The chronicle will be a place where those involved in the Cairn Project can continue to share their stories and where others will be inspired to tell theirs as well. Here people can learn of and share resources for continuing creative healing work. We will share news of the Cairn Project and other happenings that address healing from trauma.
In this first post, you can learn:
Hundreds have crossed paths with the Cairn Project
Here’s a brief summary of the Cairn Project with a link to more. Between 2014 and 2016, I, with many people assisting, developed and led the Cairn Project. First, in Shaping Clay, Shaping Life workshops, participants formed “rocks” of stoneware clay to hold their experiences of trauma. They also created small porcelain tokens of light to represent their inner light and hope. In public gallery spaces, the rocks were piled to form a memorial cairn with the tokens of light hovering like a cloud above it. The light over dark became a collective expression of trauma and hope. Read more on the Cairn Project Online Archive.
How “crossing paths” with a 750,000-volt proton atom splitter led to the Cairn Project
I saw a real, but no longer used, atom splitter in
the Elmhurst College Accelerator Art Space, while viewing the exhibit of my friend, Rebecca Wolfram. It was February, 2014, and that is when I conceived of the Cairn Project. The atom splitter reminded me that a primary motivation for my artwork is to explore and give voice to my inner experience of “splitting” due to traumatic childhood experiences. At the time I was also reading books and articles on brain research into how trauma causes people to split off from a part of themselves, and what can contribute to healing such brain splits. I asked myself, “If I were to make a new sculpture about this, what might it be?” Several thoughts hit me:
What happened when Marcy Setniker crossed paths with the Cairn Project
A year and a half ago, Marcy Setniker of Portland, Oregon, happened to hear about the Cairn Project from my son Tim, a co-worker. Her heart was so drawn to it that she spearheaded an extension of the project, The Next Cairn, in her city. She wanted to experience it herself, and have others experience it, too. Just this month Marcy and I co-led four Shaping Clay, Shaping Life workshops, including one at Outside In, an agency that serves Portland’s homeless youth. I was moved deeply, as I witnessed many people work with clay to express their experiences of trauma.
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