This treehouse represents a safe haven that shelters childhood innocence, even in the darkest of nights. Trees are often symbolic to The Tree of Life, representing a connection to God and the deep roots of growth, redemption and nurture. This treehouse glows with warmth, akin to the warm glow of a mother's love. Even the moon helps emanate light, casting shadows on the ground showing that she has not been alone in this journey. There is so much to be admired for this beautiful person who shared her story. What motivated her to make radical changes in her life was to protect the vibrancy of her child with the beautiful strength that comes from God, community and the light of preserving adventure and goodness.
Watch Me Soar
Created by Shanna Robb
Inspired by a Survivor
Watch Me Soar is a tribute to a survivor who bravely stepped forward to share their journey with a stranger. With the survivor’s permission, the artist took vignettes of the messages within the survivor’s story and placed them under glass on both sides of the mosaic design. From the artist’s viewpoint, the words were not and are not merely words of the past. They are words of encouragement that offer a glimpse at what happens when a victim finds their way out of the darkness and is given the means to
spread their wings as a survivor. “When you find yourself cocooned in isolation and cannot find your way out of the darkness, remember that this is similar to the place where caterpillars go to grow their wings (unknown)” is one of many mantras that the artist referred to while mindfully cutting and placing each piece of glass within the final design. While the journey is not yet complete, Watch Me Soar aims to honor the survivor’s determination, even during the darkest of times, to spread seeds of love versus hate.
“I choose to GIVE LOVE and abuse will not DEFINE ME - I will stay CONNECTED to the good - Do not hang up on me, as I am WORTHY - I have RIGHTS - I am GRATEFUL and will RISE ABOVE - I will continue to DREAM BIG - This is MY VOICE - I will let the wind LEAD ME - I feel the LOVE of others and TRUST that there is a SAFE PLACE for us - I am DETERMINED - This is MY CHILD - I envision being surrounded by a
cloud of LAUGHTER - This is MY TIME to set boundaries around my life - I am INSPIRED by nature - I deserve STABILITY - I have a VOICE and I am giving the BEST I can - I am SPREADING MY WINGS - This is a fight I will WIN WITH LOVE - My connection with my child CAN NOT BE BROKEN - Planning MY FUTURE which will overflow with JOY and HAPPINESS - CONTINUITY awaits me - I continue to BREATHE - I will OVERCOME my fears - I am PULLING WEEDS and planting seeds of LOVE for my child - MY CHOICE”
Like a moth in the dark always seek the light
This painting illustrates my first home after living in a domestic violence shelter for three months.
Refugio Serguro is Spanish for Safe Haven
—a place of hope and a new beginning —
for my children and me.
I hope to encourage other victims who are afraid to leave their home by letting them know there is always a safe haven waiting for them.
~ Liz Alley
WORDS FROM A DEAR FRIEND & SURVIVOR:
“I wanted to hide in the shadows away from the light. I wanted to disappear. But little miracles kept giving me hope. A beautiful flower pushing it’s way through a tiny sidewalk crack. The look of love in my baby’s eyes. These glimmers helped me be strong & rise toward the light.”
You are safe.
You are loved.
You are strong.
You are valued.
You are worthy.
You are positive.
You are capable.
You are empowered.
You are beautiful, inside and out.
You are a Goddess.
-From the inner self
Our lives are filled with hardships, trials, and injustices. Some people endure far more than others.
What stood out to me in this story is the tremendous amount of courage it takes to advocate for yourself. "Keep talking until someone listens" was a quote from our conversation.
The implication here is that not everyone will listen to a story full of a plea for help, it takes immense courage to keep asking when people doubt or refuse to hear.
The other part of their that stands out is how resilient these survivors are. It is incredibly difficult to keep fighting for a voice, for understanding, for what you need, and being resilient as you battle through everything that comes with abuse: mentally, physically, and spiritually is tough. These survivors have resiliency in spades. While the road may be hard, the future is bright.
Working with these survivors has been such an incredibly rewarding experience and I am honored to have the opportunity to capture the spirit of their story in my art. In my work I show two bear cubs, living in a chaotic and unfamiliar landscape. There are hand woven embroidery patterns, which represent intentional actions we take and that are taken against us.
Overall, there is a message of hope, of thriving despite the circumstances. While we cannot always control where were are, we can take action to advocate and fight for a better future.
~ Kelly Lewis