Mary Rose Deraco
My most recent series, “The Truth is My Name” is a symbolic depiction of the unraveling of truth regarding gender inequity and abuse that is the backbone of the #Metoo movement. A pervasive culture of sexual violence against women and children, scandals in our churches, corporations and schools and the hidden truths that bind us to societal norms that no longer serve humanity. Like many victims of these gender biased culture wars, the events of the last few years brought up dark memories that needed to come out and to the surface. In a world fill with toxic stressful events, to watch woman rise up in their power, has been the most inspiring time in my artistic life. The end game for my most current series is to ride on this invigorating wave of the consciousness of truth, heal the past through creative expression and share in the beauty of this collective transformation.
I have always been drawn to shapes of the floral figure as a symbol of the power of the feminine so I sought out to find the one with the most powerful meaning. In Buddhist tradition, the Lily flower is a symbol of courage and the expression of aggressive female emotions. In Greek mythology, Goddess Hera is said to have created the lily flower in a passionate expression of rage. In many religions the lily is a symbol of fertility and resurrection. In some traditions, the lily is believed to have medicinal properties that cure diseases such as depression and toxicity.
The series started 2 years ago with personal commitment to daily observational writing along with repetitive drawing of the lily figure. I decided to start with charcoal to symbolize the expression of dark pent up emotions. The drawings eventually morphed into loose and explosive paintings that symbolize the unraveling of dark emotion into the beauty of transformation. I chose to focus strictly on the lily figure as a symbol my fidelity to the courageous mother archetype within me and those around me and that have the courage to express painful and aggressive emotion. As survivors continue to come forward and tell their stories, more paintings flow out of me (much like Hera’s expression of rage that rained beauty onto the earth). While creating this intuitive painting series, I feel like I have become one with the lily, its powerful symbolism, its healing nature and its sensual lyrical lines. In borrowing the bold language of the lily flower, to heal and express a collective pain, I feel I have shared a new found collective feminine voice that will transform an era.