Welcome to another week.
This month’s featured image is by Paul Brian Tovey, an adult adoptee who was abused by his adoptive parents as a child. Paul is also Researching Reform’s Artist In Residence.
Paul now campaigns for adoptees to have the legal right to revert back to their birth identities.
Paul’s paintings reflect his experiences as an adoptee including the loss of identity he suffered as a result of being forcibly adopted.
The painting is titled, “Unknown.” Speaking to Researching Reform, Paul said:
“The picture describes an “internal world” mind-state some Adoptees feel (and I felt as an Adoptee) when inside the socially constructed limbo of half-identifying with “something” that cannot be fully known (birth-self) and half identifying inside the tortured state of what is known as “Adoption.”
Neither one identity or the other… Tortured. The twin states are contrary and before therapy cannot be resolved, only lived with as semi-dissociative states… A neurosis. A partly frozen crucifixion in which the Adoptee is sacrificed for the “sins of the world.”
“Unknown” becomes a long state for some Adoptees in which they half know they are in fact socially validated to be something that runs counter to the strange feeling that part of them is a banished Self.
This is an area of profound damage some Adoptees encounter in therapy before having to grieve for a Self and others they never had. I show it for witness’ sake. The inner at last becomes seen as “outer,” Identified.”
The poem below, by Paul, is meant to be read alongside the painting:
In therapy where the clawing cowling shadows howl
It was back to the “Going Home Road” of the Unknown
There by the hill of Istol’s kill and the cross of the bone
Across dimensions of body pain and screaming organic lists
There on the cross you come across “Adoptee” tied by its wrists
You were even inside the myth of the “good”, painted by bleached mud
And even Mr Jesus Christ was recruited in his dripping blood
Here comes belief in the cloak of a thief of moral illusion
Leaving you to Art Therapy and maps to undo the delusion
This is the truth of the Adoptee living the crucifixion….
Paul has a blog where he publishes his art which is titled, Paul Brian Tovey’s Arts Of The Adoptee Going Home. Many of his artworks include poetry, adding another dimension or layer to the paintings.
We remain very grateful to Paul for allowing us to share his brilliant and powerful art.