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Potential Life, by Susanne Zapatero, 2017
2 Mar 2018

Artist's Statement from the Onion Reality Exhibition

This artwork has afforded me another opportunity to review myself, my inner world view of how I had lived my life. It has given me space to redefine a life disabled in protective strategies and defences. This artwork is an illustration of the generational transmission of trauma; of the unresolved that incrementally deadens the very life within the self. It has been written that in relationships we get wounded and it’s in relationships that we heal.

Each week the face of this artwork changed. It started to articulate a deeper primal aspect of myself. Grief and the tears that came kept washing the heart that had split, until a growing sense of joy for the life I have, started to emerge. The face to the left of my painting was indicative of barely being present to life. You could see me but the very essence of who I was vacated long ago. There was only the looking out.

The Butterfly in the left hand bottom corner lay dormant even though it was fully potentiated. Nothing nourishing was sustaining it. The vast blackness that consumed a large part of my life, left me hopeless and barren. Having a total knee replacement in February 2017 facilitated a deep dive into a this black pool of ‘foreverness.' The trauma on so many levels depicted by my words and images, is also articulated by the two pieces in this artwork.

The layered textures within my painting represent the many birthing processes I went through to recreate a different outcome for myself and my family. And I did.


Potential Life, by Susanne Zapatero, 2017, was exhibited at the Onion Reality exhibition at Front Up, 9  11 Rowley Street, Seven Hills, NSW, from 27 February to 3 March, 2018. Susanne was a participant in the Emerge 2017 program supported by Ability Options, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Accessible Arts. It is funded by Ability Options, the Packer Family Foundation and Crown Resorts Foundation. The program is focused on supporting practicing artists with disability.

For more information on the work of Susanne Zapatero, please contact her by email.

© Susanne Zapatero

Photo: Accessible Arts

Access Art Disability Inclusion
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