Wounded Man Series

I have recently started a collaborative arm of art with fellow artist and friend Dan Irvine. IN* Projects represents the work we do together when inspired by or common goals to portray social and political messages delivered to the masses via art. Our first project is the Wounded Man/Woman series, extrapolated from earlier work I had done in this realm, and made dual by our expression of both the wounded man AND woman.

Originally intrigued by the historical St. Sebastian image of the “Wounded Man”, we further researched this cultural reference. In our research we uncovered the fact that the “wounded man” was found in a variety of verbal and visual testimony over hundreds of years that, although different in cultural context, all weaved the same type… of experience of being wounded, cut, or “done surgery” upon by people describing their personal mind altered, religious, meditative, or other out-of-body experiences.

A stick-like man with arrows going into his fallen body was found on the caves of Lascaux where it is said shamans submerged themselves for periods of meditation and plant-aided hallucinations designed to go to the unseen realms and carry back pertinent spiritual information.

People who attest to being “abducted” by aliens oftentimes report being transported through their bedroom walls by rays of light that somehow allow their bodies to become molecularly diffuse and then report being taken to rooms where surgery is performed upon them. Another example of being transported n a mind-altered state to a place of physical manipulation in another realm.

This phenomenon is also reported in indigenous cultures that have used energetically elevated trance dance to again transport them to another realm where the physical is disengaged and pure consciousness prevails.

This has also been seen in religious, ecstatic experiences where people have been overtaken by rapture gaining access to visualizations and messages from “God” or “Jesus” and experiencing strange physical injuries such as bleeding from the eyes or hands.

The overall connotations being that when one is in touch with their non-ego spiritual essence, they are then cut, performed upon, healed by connection to this internal energy and forever transformed to realize the spiritual lessons that are elemental to our existence in the physical plane. Many people, after having these experiences, have stated they act differently in the world, see things with new eyes, no longer put such credence upon material things or dramatic negotiations between each other, but feel more of an overall connection to humanity at large. There is a sense that “we are all in this together” spurred by the glimpse into the spiritual realm, gaining access to evidence of a larger meaning to life than just the physical dramas that are acted out daily.

Expounding upon this with the idea that every human being is “wounded” by mere act of being communally alive in this world through the constantly shifting and perpetually relevant social and political arenas we exist within; coupled with wanting to impress upon the idea of us all being in this together, IN Projects has started the Wounded Man Series.

The series debuted on Valentine’s Day 2011 through a collaborative “plop art” project in Palm Desert, CA with two other contemporary artists named Ryan Campbell and Tim Shockley. The three of us decided to join forces, make our own individual “love letters” to the world, that we then plopped freely (without destroying surface or vandalizing) in public for anyone to find.

Dan created a male and female contemporary version of the Wounded Man graphic with the phrase “We Are All in This Together” and printed them on translucent stickers that were then adhered to random pieces of scrap wood, denoting totems much like the primal stick drawings on cave walls and wood surfaces. Raw and unpolished, these were then painted red and covered in a resin representing the fossilization of the pieces. We randomly set eight of these around a public street.

We will continue to create these random wooden totems and place them as plop art amongst our individual travels in perpetuity.



2 Responses to “Wounded Man Series”

  1. Tom Goforth Says:

    Hey Kimberly!

    You are truly amazing. I really like the direction that your research has taken you, which is a good antidote for the more Christian understanding that values martyrdom in the service of the Lord. The understanding that we are all wounded has also grown out of the practice of psychotherapy, which, as a discipline seems to more and more recognize that human woundedness is universal, and is therefore something that can bring us together, rather than functioning as something that we need to be ashamed of.

    I’m also interested in your hypothesis that those of us who have had experiences that connect us to the “spiritual” dimension are transformed by this experience, and become people who recognize that we are more alike than different. Certainly, my out of body meditative and therapeutic experiences have had this effect on me. Over the course of my own healing path, I have found myself able to see the strong similarities in all the spiritual paths, and my sense of the oneness of all sentient beings has grown stronger and stronger. This is such an important resource in these times when, once again, people who have less wealth are being vilified and blamed for the excesses of those who deem themselves as saved.
    Once we “grok” that we are all in this together, I believe we find compassion for all of our brothers and sisters, as well as for all other sentient beings, and for the planet.

    For a poetic look at this experience, I highly recommend Alice Walker’s beautiful new book of poems, “Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.”
    Thanks for posting your new inspiring project and research!

  2. Thanks you for the article and the immersion into the creative, healing process. Making your art accessible to the public is a wonderful contribution toward expanding consciousness — and helping people realize the healing benefits of creativity.

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