Art as a Healing Process...

When Morality Rings a Bell.

Disclaimer: My art represents my feelings/memories/perceptions only and is not intended to be a 'factual account'...nor is it intended to represent anyone else's views other than my own.

**********Trigger Warning********
If you went to Hawthorn School in Marengo, Illinois during the years of the Eckmann trial, or have experienced psychological trauma, please be aware that viewing this site can be triggering of distressing emotions.
Please don't view this site - or stop viewing it - if you find it distressing.

View shows distressed closed book, with pieces of case law, made-for-tv movie ad, pieces of whole chalk, broken pencils.

The Base

The base is a sink cutout that I got for just a few bucks. I painted it green, with some school's colors were green and white.

I poured some sand and gravel throughout the base and on the piece to represent the playground, which for me was a place for which I have very few good memories. When the adults in children's lives are in conflict with each other, children sense it and cannot help but absorb the stress and negativity. It becomes a part of their development and shows up in their 'play.'

My experience involved watching and being in the receiving end of bullying. We all responded as children in that type of situation would react, tragically (naturally) turning on each other according to the various 'positions' of the adults in our lives. I remember it causing the destruction of our playtime as an activity of rest and relaxation. I truly hope it was not experienced this way by most, but I do have enough contact to know it was for some.

The Bricks

The bricks were good, solid bricks that I got from a friend. I broke them by bashing them on concrete.

Bashing bricks is a surprisingly satisfying way to work off some negative feelings about school. If you have school trauma, I highly recommend it.

Broken Pencils

The broken pencils were a large part of the 'journeying through the emotions' of these memories.

I spent weeks getting pencils, smashing them with a hammer, distressing the erasers, grinding them down in pencil sharpeners.

There is a LOT of broken pencils on the piece. My hubby calls the piece 'Pencilgeddon.'

The smashed pencils represent many feelings and beliefs I have about this experience. They also represent;

The Books

The books are old childhood education books that I found and distressed through painting it. I spent many hours breaking the bindings, bashing them with bricks, sandpapering the paper, re-painting...affixing pieces of the case that were torn and distressed.

On this book are the names of the 'defendants' - the school board, district, administrators....the lawyers and judges and other teachers.

I send them wishes for peace and healing, and I acknowledge their efforts as being well-intentioned.

Though, in some cases, I believe misguided.

My father's name (deceased) is also on here. Also, the really hefty amounts of money involved, which should have gone towards our education. Imagine if that money had been put towards actually educating us!

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