The Abstract & Surreal Artwork of Colleen D. Gjefle

Cataclysm

After my wonderful father’s death I began to reflect on my life and to sort through feelings. For most of my life, I refused to admit to myself the molestation at the hands of my grandfather, and immediately pushed it out of my mind whenever it crept in. But in examining my life and childhood, I came to a point where I could no longer pretend it didn’t happen.

This was a cataclysmic event from which there was no turning back, no pretending it didn’t happen. The sky has darkened, and as in the painting, storm clouds began to roll in and fire-and-brimstone began to form. There are whimsical forms floating around, representing my attempts to retreat back into my safe self-delusion. As a little girl, I often delighting in watching the birds that came to the feeders. One of my favorites was the little nuthatch. But even that favorite little bird was reminding me that my world was topsy-turvy, for this is a little bird that has the unusual habit of traveling headfirst down tree trunks. The figure in the lower corner represents a premonition of the lonely journey I was about to begin.

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