The Curve Project: Celebrating Women’s Essence Through Art
” A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.” ― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
Over the years, we were all born, educated, nurtured and supported by women in our lives–be it our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, teachers, neighbors, girlfriends, co-workers and friends. But how do we understand the real essence of woman and their important contributions to society?
That question–while valid and profound in its core–is often ignored and misunderstood even in today’s generation. Philippines, a predominantly Christian and democratic country is still primarily patriarchal in nature, where women’s rights are considered as an afterthought rather than a priority.
Indeed, we have a long way to go in terms of how we treat women and unequivocally accept their existence, not as a second-class citizens but an indispensable part in the fabric of our society.
As a woman, the realness of my struggle can truly be understood by no less than the women themselves. So it was a pleasant surprise for me to be part of an event that celebrates women, merely days before the entire world celebrated International Women’s Day (which was yesterday, March 8).
The Curve Project, or simply “Curve”, is the brainchild of Ms. Paulina Constancia, a Cebuano artist behind the Paulina Constancia Museum of Naive Art (MoNA)and the Psychology Volunteers on Bikes. It is an event highlighted by a fun-filled art workshop and interesting discussion on the complexities and essence of being a woman.
So Why The Curve Project?
According to Ms. Constancia, you can identify a woman’s silhouette from a man through her curves. She also quoted from a scientific study that said women are the only creatures blessed with curves to support her body for childbirth, to easily carry a child by her waistline and to nurture and promote life.
A curve is a physical attribute that is generally shared by women from all walks of life. It can also be a symbolic representation of our lives in general since people don’t journey through life in one single straight path, but rather, through imperfect curves or path that leads to different direction. Preach.
No, I’m not going to digress on this post with the merits of existentialism because that’s not what this article is about. I’ll simply show you some snippets of how my day went at The Curve Project and how it has inspired me to support such movement in the future.
Art Workshop + Acrostic Poetry Discussion
The last time I ever did any real artwork was in high school and I don’t really know why I passed the subject. But today, we were all encouraged to show our own artistic interpretation of a woman’s curve, to symbolize our lives as women.
The art tools and supplies displayed were aplenty to a point where I was tempted to try all of them at once. I have never been this giddy with excitement since I saw these many art contraptions. Then I began to remember how therapeutic and enjoyable it was to draw, paint, color, and cut papers in different shapes and sizes. So many colors, so little time…
After we were done with our artwork, we were asked to explain them in front. What’s a little scary is that some of us don’t know each other so discussing our whole humanity in a few minutes might make us even more vulnerable than we already were.
But thankfully, everyone was very friendly, open and accepting. There was no room for judgement, only empathy of our flaws and strengths as women, collectively.
My Artistic Interpretation
Here is my abstract art work. The different odd-shaped colors represent how diverse women are that we can’t simply box or categorize them in one color. A woman can be a housewife, a career-driven woman, single, or a religious person.
The narrow arteries dotted with colorful lines are the path we take in life. It reminds me of when I was young, I was told that in order to be successful in life you have to follow this path: finish school, get a job, get married and die.
The white path below illustrates that archaic way of thinking–how everything back then was always just white or black, there was no other way. However, as I grow older, I realized that women have different purposes in life and we don’t necessarily go in the same direction. Thus, the reason why I painted different colorful roads.
To say that marriage and having your own kids is the only thing that women are good for is rather ignorant and limiting. For me, a woman can be anything she wants to be, regardless if these factors are present in her life or not.
This is not to put down women who chose to get married or become a full-time housewife. Our choices in life does not determine our character but rather our willingness to serve and sacrifice ourselves for the greater good.
The butterfly on top is a representation of a strong, full-grown woman who has gone through the bittersweet joys and pains of her life journey. That’s what I aim to be someday–to be a strong, beautiful “butterfly” of a woman.
One Billion and Rising!
If you have the time, please click on their links and share them to your friends. Your support means a lot to billions of women out there who are still silently suffering from years of abuse and neglect.
On a Final Note
For as long as there are women around the world whose rights and self-worth are trampled upon, then our job as human beings are far from over.
Though this ambitious project might not directly address or eliminate women’s issues altogether, it somehow helped me to embrace my womanhood wholeheartedly and have a better appreciation for women. I think I’m gonna go and hug my mom today.
If you want to check out our Curve Project artwork, it’s now available from May 8-31, 2016 at the main lobby of West Gorordo Hotel, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.
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