5 Middle Years


Katya had several early experiences as a young girl that are quite too personal to mention. But one thing was common to all these events. In all these circumstances her innocent beliefs about others and confidence in herself gradually eroded.


She had introjected [1]my belief that the best way to please people, or in fact anyone who was in a position of power, and win approval from them was to perform, achieve, and produce outstanding outcomes. This was not to her advantage and I was slow to offer advice due to my inexperience in the job. I felt inadequate as her steward. I needed professional supervision[2]! The Crone was a godsend and she guided me through more than one crisis as I walked alongside Katya. Finally Katya was able to accept the shields of “Avoidance” and “Excuse-making” to defend her. They did protect her but at a cost.


Betrayed often and bearing the weight of her defences Katya continued with life. Her defences worked in most instances but became burdensome when dealing with situations where further circumstances of powerlessness arose. And there were also the scars; shame, panic, fear, and guilt not to mention a loss of confidence in being able to cope authentically and with pride.  Of course these scars, and later, others, would make her life increasingly tiring, complex and false, reopening as old wounds are want to do until she learned something new.


Katya depicted her emotional scars in the work ‘Healing Wounds’- Cicatrice #1 and #2. Cicatrice #1 and Cicatrice #2 are disquieting in their suggestions.

[1] Introject  The psychoanalytic stance, in which the “patient” (Katya) introjects the (presumably more healthy) interpretations of the analyst


[2] Supervision is perhaps the most important component in the development of a competent practitioner. It is within the context of supervision that trainees begin to develop a sense of their professional identity and to examine their own beliefs and attitude regarding clients and therapy.

Cicatrice 2cicatrice 1

Healing wounds Cicatrice #1 and Cicatrice #2 – ATASDA Miniatures Exhibition, Brisbane Australia November 2013

The noun, Cicatrix, refers to the new tissue which forms over a wound and later contracts into a scar….The mark left on the skin after a wound, burn, or sore has healed over…….The mark on a plant indicating the place where a part (such as a leaf) was formerly attached…… and finally, a lasting effect left on somebody’s mind by a personal misfortune or unpleasant experience.

The organic texture of the work alludes to the botanic reference of the definition. Plant materials in the form of seedpods have been sewn delicately into a cheesecloth and organza cloth base. The material is tightly stretched and gathered around the precious cargo which is confined by the strong wooden hoop providing clear boundaries, camouflage, secrecy and disguise. Vermillion thread resembling crusted blood still visible around the wound reminds us of a newly inflicted trauma slowly being covered, or the reopening of a fragile area as a result of recent onslaught. The strong cream cotton thread puckering and disfiguring the fragile fabric is evidence of an old pockmark or repeated damage. Finally loose ends extend beyond the perimeter of the hoop. Always there are loose ends searching for disturbing opportunities to latch onto and to strengthen and reinforce the painful and unhelpful narrative of victimisation and worthlessness!

Fear and its accomplice Panic would intrude and disturb Katya’s life arising from exposure to various triggers. Later threatening and humiliating situations would join with this fear memory and provide Katya with a rich assortment of Dreaming from which to enter into contact with this demon. To Dream these stories into the cloth has been part of the healing process.

Her relationship with fear and panic appears in her cloth ‘Terror’- the Black Rabbit’.