Being with Melancholia
The manifest of compassion and melancholia
Art is an opportunity to get close to the melancholy in a gentle way. In this form I can handle it with playfulness - I can establish a vacuum, where I dare to look at the nuances without being terrified.
And why should you care, you might think? The fact is, I want you to see me. Watch me. Feel me. What I exhibit is a space in me that I experience as painfully invisible.
I have used the art to express what feels so intimately connected to my being. I want the invisible to be witnessed. Because if that succeeds, then I exist a little more.
But hey - the loneliness of melancholia, its invisible space, is not just in me. It exists in society. And maybe in you. Maybe you suffer? The collection I made is a narrowed field where you can be with melancholia. Where it is visible. And welcomed. Because it can be a fruitful and beautiful acquaintance. I don't want melancholia to disappear. I would miss it to the bones. But I want us to meet in compassion. That my space can also be yours. That my space can create relief for others. And that I should not be lonely and invisible in there. I long to unify with the people around me. With you.
The images is a small selection from the collection // Being with Melancholia//
35 pieces of monotypes.
Melancholia is a being and it's a place. A door to clarity. And when I go there, everything is condensed. All is there, all impressions, feelings and ideas are present at the same time. They are all one. The burgeoning life and the dying. Everything is in play. But it easily moves in its spectrum. If I'm not allowed to be in it - BE, don't do - the impulse turns to darkness. Sadness, sorrow, powerlessness. The deep, painful hole. But if I dare to go in there and let go, lightness arises. Optimism, enthusiasm, humbleness and deep gratitude.
In the space of melancholia I can embrace me as a multidimensional human being. Without judging.
Out there is such a damn well defined frame for what the good feelings are. That the good life is what only allows sufficiency. Feelings of a certain weight are not welcomed and are hidden with shame.
Out there it can't be honored to be a melancholic, but I need to say, show, SHOUT that melancholia is part of life and with potential. If we do not practice to allow people not always being happy, then it becomes difficult to be compassionate when we meet sadness. We start repairing. Straighten things out. Seeing melancholia as something unproductive and unreasonable. We forget to see the viability that lives there. The magic that is there. That human beings are allowed to be human there.
I can't bring others into the invisible. I know. But I can try to be honest and share it. I give the wordless a picture, and maybe there are some aspects in what I make visible you will recognize.
It is a rare form of art daring to be in the pain. It is unknown country. But if I dare to embrace the painful in me, then I practice being able to be there for you when you need it. It's so hard. We are so inexperienced in being with the painful. And we do not learn by taking a pill.
Let's confront the tabu of melancholia. Let us reveal the beauty. Allow us to believe in the chance to face and learn by the beauty and compassion hidden in the unpleasant.
Nille Bech, April 2019: