Portfolio Information

  • Created by: Ayiana Viviana
  • Date: September 19th, 2022
  • Skills: Mixed Media on Canvas

“In Stitches”

8 x 10 inches

Acrylic paint and ink on stretched canvas

“In Stiches” is a deeply personal expression of feeling like my heart is being pulled and stretched in different directions and the subsequent feeling of needing to piece it all together, in order to gain clarity.

The day I created this piece, I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled to have blood drawn and tested for hemoglobin levels. Aaron was working and I had to take the bus to the appointment. Taking the bus wasn’t really an issue, as I enjoy public transportation and the time for reflection it allows me. This particular day, my phone was blowing up with IG notifications from Aaron. He was going through my highlights and liking a lot of them as well as responding to some, which led to messages in my DM’s. Stuff from years ago, he was just now seeing. It disturbed me that these expressions of mine had been available for him to see for an incredibly long time, but he was just now seeing them. I pondered how someone could love me and have so much information available to know and potentially love me better, yet choose to not explore it.

That morning I had woken up to a text from him where I was issued a bit of an ultimatum so before I even left the house, I was already in a bad head space. As I attempted to respond to his ultimatum via email, I felt my heart constrict and expand. I wrestled with the feeling of not knowing whether or not my heart was in a safe space. I won’t go into too many details, as those aren’t fully necessary for the piece to be understood, but suffice it to say, that my heart felt fragile and on the verge of tearing. Add to the romantic relational issues, familial relational issues as well, and the pressure on my heart felt compounded. There had been a huge blow up the weekend prior, as a result of misunderstandings and miscommunication between some of my family members and I was feeling the weight of unresolved emotion heavy on my heart as well.

I get to my appointment, have blood drawn, and hop on the first of 2 buses I needed to take, in order to get home. The first ride was pretty smooth but I missed my connecting bus and decided to start walking home instead. A 10 minute bus ride, turned into an almost 40 minute walk and with having had blood just drawn, not having had anything to eat, and what felt like the weight of the world on my heart, I began to feel lightheaded. When I got back home, I ate a PB&J sandwich and something else; I can’t remember what. And then I sat in my weathered and worn spot on the dining room table bench, and began to create. It was my first time painting something other than the lines on my canvases first. I drew a red, bleeding heart, followed by the black lines and then I began to fill in the spaces. In the middle of creating this piece, I had a panic attack. I went to the kitchen and grabbed a few pieces of ice from the freezer. I was attempting to calm and settle my nervous system but my heart rate was steadily climbing. Finally, after 5-8 minutes, my heart rate settled and I felt myself return to normal again. I made what appeared to be stiches on the sides of the dividing lines over the heart, to show how divided and torn my heart felt.

Overall, I hoped this piece would convey a sense of being torn and broken, but also the glimmer of hope that appears when we take something broken and stitch it together again. There are scars and reminders of our pains but also, reminders that whatever it was, attempted to, but did not break us.