Beverly Engel, LMFT writes about the difference between guilt and shame. She says that while guilt is experienced when we think, “I did something that was not okay,” shame is experienced when we think, “I, as a person, am not okay.”
Shame is the most debilitating of human emotions. We accrue it through our various life experiences, including abuse. Internalizing its damaging rhetoric can continue to produce feelings of shame long after the shame-producing event has passed. However, shame can be defeated when it is met with compassion and non-judgement - by bringing it into the light.
For this project, I need your shame.
From the short form below, I am printing your anonymous responses to the statement, “I am ashamed of _______” onto basic white t-shirts with a highly fugitive natural dye.
Like shame, fugitive dyes fade when exposed to light.
The shirts will be exhibited on a clothing rack with a bright lamp above. Before the viewers flip through the shirts on the rack, they will turn on a bright light that will, by the end of the month-long exhibition, fade the text, the shame - maybe your shame - to the point that it is no longer legible.
Fugitive Shame will be exhibited at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, WA in October 2019.
Look for before/after photos of each shame-shirt, including photos of the exhibition on my website this fall.
If you’d like to participate, please complete the form below.
Please resubmit the form if you wish to contribute multiple responses.