Journey to Freedom
There are a multitude of ways that we imprison ourselves, and each other. The stories in this ongoing series—Journey to Freedom: a Visual and Written Chronicle about Inspiration, Recovery and Self Possession—are inspired by the experiences of the people I encounter along the way as I pursue my own pilgrimage to peace.
I use my “extreme collage” process, combined with essays and free-form verse, to share what I've discovered during my life-long fascination with freedom.
I've a very short PDF available for purchase to help fund the ongoing project. If you are interested in purchasing the PDF, or an artwork from the collection, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My doodle work came about during a time when I spent A LOT of time in lobbies and reception areas waiting to meet with developers, collectors, educators, politicians, bankers, insurance brokers and other business folk I thought were important to the development of the Working Artists Network. During those 2 – 3 years of meetings and deal making I spent precious little time in my studio, and I desperately needed an artistic outlet to help equalize my being.
The original intention of the doodles was to experiment with line and color, and for the supplies to be portable, so I chose to use fine point markers and pens from several brands and acid free, bleed-proof paper designed for illustrators and manga artists.
It has been several years now since beginning my doodling, and as with all of life's work, the imagery and meaning has evolved. I suspect that I shall be a doodler of this ilk for the remainder of my life as I truly enjoy the OCD aspect of this form of art-making, as well as the multitude of ways can apply to work to other material things.
A project I started while taking a seminar about transforming my ontological self, and with it bits of the world, became something of catalyst in my dramatically altering my life. At the time I worked in advertising, spending a good 1/4 to 1/3 of my time elsewhere in the world, away from my children and community, working on multimillion dollar integrated marketing campaigns for electronics companies and shoe manufacturers. (I was living a life I'd dreamed of having when I was a teenager after having read my first business book, “Ogilvy on Advertising”.)
Although I loved the people I worked with during those times (both my clients and the folks in the agency), the toll that lifestyle took on me was fairly rigorous and left me emotionally and spiritually depleted in a way I could not have anticipated.
I enrolled in that life-changing seminar to find balance in my life, and in it developed an arts-based, viewpoint altering, workshop called “Empty & Meaningless: the Box Project. From that seminar I ended up in Oregon's womens prison, Coffee Creek Correctional in Wilsonville, conducting E&M workshops with the inmates and the therapeutic staff working so diligently with them to recover their lives.
It was during that year and a half that I spent out there conducting workshops with the inmates that I became an advocate for prison reform.
And it was that advocacy that led me to England, where Michael Balfour lived and worked, and a little theater company called Escape Artists did their own version of transformational work in England's prisons, and a man who connected me to both was serving time for robbing a bank. His name is Steve, he was paroled while I was there, and now he's a recovered thespian to the n'th degree.
The 2-week trip I took to England to learn from these amazing, gifted and sincerely committed people gave me an opportunity to visit a country I'd only read about, and visit some of the places I'd read about – particularly Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper made his mark on history.
I've been asked, and told, to write a book about my life. Or to write a script and make a movie about parts of it. And, over the years I've tried. Trouble is, I'm not a long form writer, so nothing ever got beyond the 3rd page (and truthfully, if it got to a 3rd page it's because I double or triple spaced!)
My life has been insanely interesting, and in at least one aspect is completely unique in one historical circumstance – my being held hostage at my home town of Wounded Knee. And I do see value in the telling of the many tales that make up my experience to date.
So, I decided early on in 2006 to tell one version of my entire life in mini-assemblage.
Originally the series was titled “46”. (Heh. Kinda funny that.)
In 2008 I landed a show in Portland's smallest gallery, the Coeur, and that gave me the dealine I needed to finish “46” and rename is “48”. For me it was one of the most profound and revealing exhibits I'd ever put together. The Coeur was a mere 3 1/2 feet high, and you had to crawl into the space to see the art. In the end it was the absolute perfect place to debut the show. Although many people were unmoved by the work or the stories I'd posted along with the work, many others were moved to tears, some even thanking me for sharing so much of myself. Many thanks go to Anna Todaro for booking me and giving me the space to just be myself…
The Coeur has grown up – go check out it's website, and then go visit Anna and see the new space. You can actually stand up in it now!
A's Art Calendar
And, of course, you can buy reproduced versions of my work on all kinds of neat stuff at CafePress [http://cafepress.com/adriennefritze], and my 16-month calendar at Lulu [http://stores.lulu.com/adriennefritze].
Here you can review the images in the calendar:
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My mantra is my life's guide: All is as it is. I love, I am loved, I am a conduit for love. I walk with extraordinary companions, and will until the end of my days.
Thank you for being an extraordinary companion.