Some thoughts about: Die Gedanken sind frei.

I listen all day long when I am working as a psychoanalyst. I have to stay focused on words. Sometimes looking behind them to fathom what patients are really saying. Sometimes searching for the feelings that underpin the words.

In human development, words come fairly late as a way of expressing our feelings - we learn other methods first: crying, howling, smiling, laughing... Words are symbols and if you can find the right words to express yourself, some inner work has already taken place in the quest of understanding. But, because they are symbols, we need to acknowledge that words can often have different meanings for different people.

Because words play such a large role in my professional life, it is important for me to have other ways of expressing myself. This is why I find the activity of working with cloth - and producing art from it - so important. That is not to say that I avoid words. I will always be fascinated by what goes on inside the head of a human being. Poetry and song lyrics are inspiring and fascinating as they provide a glimpse into the mind of another person. I often use words in my art... but I also want to explore visual devices to communicate my ideas.

Die Gedanken sind frei is an example of how words trigger ideas. It is the title of an old German song about freedom, in the sense that you can be imprisoned and have everything taken away from you, but you will always have the freedom of your thoughts. One can be locked up in a real prison, but we are all capable of building our own inner prisons. I chose keys as visual symbols for prison because they are the mechanism for capture and release. The red pathway represents the journey for understanding and freedom. Whilst red can be a negative colour (blood, anger, aggression), it is also the colour of passion and excitement. Roses are also symbolic in that they have great softness and beauty, but they also have thorns that can wound and hurt.

Gedanken sind frei