Unfounded Terror: The Petrification of Unhealed Trauma

For me receiving the emerging artist grant has been a validation of my artistic voice and vision. It has given me the confidence to break down the barriers of self-doubt that often plague emerging artists. The recognition and support from the grant have encouraged me to push beyond my limitations, to explore new techniques and concepts, and to fully embrace the power of my artistic expression.

The second in my “Transcendence” series is “Unfounded Terror: The Petrification of Unhealed Trauma” it delves into the profound struggle that humans face when confronted with unresolved emotional wounds. This oil painting serves as a visual exploration of the internal battles we wage against our own trauma, the consequences of avoiding its acknowledgment, and the ultimate stagnation it brings to our lives.

 "Unfounded Terror: The Petrification of Unhealed Trauma" Painting By Jenipher Chandley
“Unfounded Terror: The Petrification of Unhealed Trauma” Painting By Jenipher Chandley

At the center of the composition stands a woman, symbolizing the collective human experience of grappling with unhealed trauma. Her upper body is exposed, vulnerable to the world, as she becomes entangled within an ancient and twisted tree. This tree represents the enduring presence of trials and challenges we encounter throughout our lives; they remain a constant, even if ignored or denied. As her arm morphs into a tree, it signifies the process of petrification, a metaphor for the consequences of refusing to confront our fears and past traumas. The desire to evade or bury painful memories deep within our minds prevents growth and healing, leading to the gradual consumption of our true selves.

A snake, coiled along her body, represents the manifestation of fear. This fear becomes an ever-present companion as she shields herself, hindering her ability to move forward and preventing her own growth and transformation. The dark background serves as a visual representation of the obscured path we face when we choose to avoid facing our fears. Without acknowledging and processing our traumas, we are left wandering in uncertainty, perpetuating a cycle of reliving and recreating our pain.

“Unfounded Terror: The Petrification of Unhealed Trauma” invites viewers to contemplate the repercussions of denying and suppressing emotional wounds. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of facing our fears, acknowledging our past traumas, and embarking on a journey towards healing and self-discovery. Through this painting, we are confronted with the consequences of avoiding our internal struggles, ultimately encouraging us to embrace the transformative power of acknowledging and addressing our deepest emotional wounds.

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