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  • Jane E Porter

Art and Alchemy: From Disenchantment to Empowerment

beautiful young woman with poppies in her hair and a floral tattoo
Renegade Rose 2023 | Jane E Porter
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Brené Brown

So, here goes 😬 …

Ever since I was a child, I have been both fascinated and terrified by the absolute absurdity of human beings. What started out as hope, almost unwittingly transmogrified into a cacophony of disenchantment.; Only a resonance of how I believed life was meant to be remained and the dawn of a new reality emerged.

The departure of love is not as painful as one might think, as it quickly becomes the status quo, the new you. Adorning the robes of the rejected adds weight to the creative endeavour, giving licence to do, whatever the hell you like.

Yet the unrelenting pull towards a warmer life, unconscious though it may have been, left an aching emptiness that no amount of creative output could soothe. Slipping into the abyss, I can only describe as the most horrendous, and later transformative time of my life.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Brené Brown

There was a certain fear of relinquishing the dark matter – who will I be, will I have any substance? Will I be left with the remnants of a limited capacity to only produce pastiche? Isn’t misery the essence of great art? It may or may not be, but eventually, misery leads to death, either in physical form or in spirit.

The depth of my experiences, from childhood to each new moment, dark and light, still seep into my work without invitation. I could, of course, suppress them, but I’ve found that truth finds its way out through a myriad of media. And isn’t that what real art is about, expressing what can’t be said in words, however light, dark or inappropriate?

I believe we all share the desire for innate expression, connecting me to you and you to me. Our stories may be a perception or constructed reality, but they still live intently within us longing for a means of message.

My story is your story, my medium is art.

If you found this article helpful or you can relate, I'd love to hear from you - please leave a comment below.

Image: Renegade represents a rebellious spirit, strong and resilient. The flowers symbolise femininity, passion and growth.


Jane E Porter is a fine artist and illustrator from Scotland, dedicated to exploring and understanding the fascinating interplay between art, psychology and philosophy. She shares insights and observations made over the past two decades with a delightful mix of wit and wisdom. Join her as she continues her journey, delving into these themes, offering you fresh perspectives and insights on art, identity and storytelling.

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