Thursday, July 8, 2010

Collage 115

I made this collage on Emma's first studio visit, working side by side. She brought along this red ink which I liked a lot -- as well as embroidery threat and needles. She was at the studio last week for the second time, and brought more gems. She works at an upscale thrift store so has access to endless amounts of wonderful ephemera. We also scavenged in the studio building. Someone had left boxes of old letters, postcards, books, magazines, newspapers and Christian hymnals. Our studio is bursting at the seams with materials.

I read the text through a certain lens, as by profession I am a social worker and provide a lot of mental health/therapy services. In Volume II, Part One, Chapter I, Nicolai Rostov has just returned home on leave from the war. There is a scene between him and his sister Natasha. Natasha is always described as having lively eyes. In this scene she has "desperately lively eyes". She told Nicholas she loved her cousin (also Nicholas' love interest) so much that she would burn her arm for her. She then showed Nicholas the evidence of her love for Sonia. "She pushed up her muslim sleeve and showed a red mark on her long, thin, and delicate arm, below the shoulder but far above the elbow (where it was covered even by ball gowns).

'I burned it to show her my love. I just heated a ruler in the fire and pressed it there.'

Is Natasha a cutter? Is this an expression of teen angst? Or is she on her way for more self-injury? Everyone loves the character of Natasha. But I wonder? His female characters seem neurotic. He hints that Helene had an incestuous relationship with her brother Anatole, then later we find out that she was rumored to have had an affair with Dolokhov (whom Pierre later inadvertently kills in a duel). What's up with the female characters? -- Lola
Lola Baltzell
from page 237-238 of original text
collage, acrylic paint, ink
made 6/4/10

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