PPM’s May 2011 Feature Artist and Poet is Jakki Savage/unbeknown. There is something vulnerable about Jakki’s artistic interpretations, as well as the scope that she views the world through. Her work is emotively charged and penetrates even the toughest skin in order to touch the soul. The depth within her art and writing could only have been birthed through tragedies overcome by a conquering spirit. There’s a sense of honour a reader experiences in being welcomed into her imaginative world to witness her unfold her broken and neglected wings and learn how to fly.
She is a survivor, a mighty conqueror, and she has something worth celebrating: her quest for personal freedom. Please join me in celebrating the wonderful creations of Jakki/unbeknown.
A FEW WORDS FROM THE ARTIST AND A POET
BACKGROUND AND FEMINIST ROOTS
I am not an artist or a writer by trade. I am a 34 year old mother of one and a wife. My occupational roots are within education delivery and nurturing emotional literacy. Professionally trained as a preschool teacher and more recently within social work, I enjoy working with children, young people and adults alike. I want to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives.
As a woman, I feel driven to be the woman I want to be, not a prefab of society’s molding. I am a passionate advocate for equality for women and I have a determination to work hard to contribute to the lives of other women through my daily work. I have a strong moral compass and embrace a “can do” attitude when anything is placed in front of me, I joined Redbubble to do just that: develop something that has always been there, something that I have put aside due to a lack of self belief. I’m on a journey to re-find my road and I heartily applaud other women for expressing their strength and femininity through art. I would always want to raise issues of equality and injustice against women within my work.
The Redbubble community has come to know me as Unbeknown, my real name is Jakki. Unbeknown says how I feel about myself at this point in my life looking back. It marks a line in the sand between what I have been and what I want to become, 2011 onward. I joined this wonderful community in January this year and stated on my profile that “I am but no means an artist, I write to heal, art is my release”. The last message from my late sister was that she wanted me to live, to be understood and to stay upon my path. So here I am: on that path, living and trying to be understood.
I have always had a creative mind, just never truly embraced it enough to do it regularly. I clearly remember my influence to be creative back then/ it was my elder brother who sat by his draught board day and night, turning the lead from a tidy row of pencils into something magnificent on paper. I studied art at secondary school and got great grades for my work, but life took over and the passion I had was quashed, trampled with an inability to cope with my home life. Lately, I have had a few quirky artistic projects; video djing events, a tv advert, made a set of curtains for HRH Prince Andrew to open, a steam punk themed scenery set and eight magnificent gravestones for a Halloween event. I think all these things inspired me to get back into a little more art.
ART AND WRITING WITH MEANING
My art means the world to me, it is the most powerful tool I possess to keep myself in a straight line, moving forward. I find it liberating. Being able to use my art to express myself is an important journey I feel the need to take through art, it is the only thing I have that allows me to be fully emotionally literate. Every piece of art I create is drenched in my own need for emotive release, the need to express thoughts and feelings that in reality I am struggling to come to terms with. It’s my way of circumventing the “surreptitious existence” that I have had to know.
MORE THAN A VOICE
I want to be counted now, to feel and to be felt, to speak and be heard and using art as a tool for this is working. I have a voice that I did not have before. I am no longer drowning in a vast pool of pent up emotions. I have a release mechanism that is working for me.
I have had a difficult path up until now. In the last two years I have faced difficult challenges, some of them chosen, some of them not. I have had two operations, one for an eptopic pregnancy and fallopian removal on one side, and another to remove a tumor and an ovary on the other. I have lost my dear sister to suicide in November last year. I also brought my father to justice for historic child sexual abuse. I have lost family members through the latter whom refuse to accept the truth and reality of what he did. All of this feeds into my work, my art is my story, my pain and it is emotional therapy for me — an important journey I must take to heal.
ARTISTIC AND CREATIVE INFLUENCES
I adore the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, an influential woman of incredible strength. An American modernist, renowned for her unique abstract work, conveying emotions through simple objects she painted. She wanted her art to be felt and to be understood for its step away from literal form. For me she serves as an inspiration for layering meaning within art, her ability to convey depth and femininity was astounding. We have a large print of ‘Grey Line with Black, Blue and Yellow’ at home, a painting she is renowned for, wonderfully symbolic of her method. I carry two quotes with me from her that resonate with me “I feel there is something unexplained about women that only a woman can explore” and “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life- and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do”
A ROOM WITH A VIEW
My dream is to heal myself; to be able to have one less day of sadness; to stop the pain my life has inherently become to this point and flourish, as a woman in my own right; to be able to paint happy things and brighter times. I would love to create a book for children and women who have gone through similar circumstances using my poetry and art. One day, I might just do that.
Yikes this is so hard… I may want to add to this… but here’s what I have if its enough:
Solace (featured below)
– this was a challenging piece that I wanted so much to get right. It was for my brother, although he will probably never see it. But I wanted to let him know that I was proud of him.
Bullet 21 eleven 10 (featured below)
– because it took me two months to write one word about my sister, this was for her and in all of her beauty I could not write about her, only the pain that was left behind when she died last year.
A COLLECTION OF ART AND POETRYAll work in this collection and publication rights belong to Jakki Savage ©
A Personal Journey
There is a system that fails in its trying because it loses sight of the things shoved to the bottom of the carry on bag.
But this system cannot confine a wounded spirit forever.
The day wore an eerie mask,
You knocked upon the door.
Stood up at my window,
My eyes drew upon the car door.
Still open as you had left it ajar,
A needed escape.
Quickly scuffle backwards,
No noise you make.
It was then you vanished,
The road laid bare.
I didn’t leave my window,
Felt safer up here, didn’t dare.
A name called command,
Came from down the stairs.
A caring voice, not one to fear,
All of your belongings are here.
A long walk down,
Every step wearing my frown.
My eyes met her smiling face
Heart sunken down.
This is what my life had become,
One, solitary black bag.
Is that it I said?
Looking around the hall,
Yes, she said, that’s all.
Your father came and brought you them,
Have a look and see.
That is all my stuff I thought?
Not one of my siblings to see me?
One solitary black bag,
No need for a ‘handle with care’ label
Clothes stuffed, not packed for me.
The sum of what I was worth to them
There’s a world where aborted dreams ascend. A safe world in heavenly realms where open arms of healing
are waiting to embrace the brokenness and keep the demons at bay.
There’s a voice trapped within the repressed folds of a soul, that unless unleashed will be the very poison
that slowly kills a spirit destined to be vibrant and alive.
Seeping out like poison through my throbbing veins.
This was never about any other gain.
Peace sought, the right to live
Happy, without unwanted tears.
A freedom filled soul.
Bursting to be free, from wretched memory.
Pent up fear, built over lonely years.
My gain, my desire
Understanding I never was afforded
Broken silence through deepened pain
My only gain.
Healing of childhood blisters begun.
You made me relive again.
Keeps you away from here
I have in the end, made no gain.
There is something to be said about eyes that speak volumes without uttering a single word.
How Dare You…
There’s a space that if a conquering spirit digs deep enough, she will uncover a will strong enough to stand tall,
to stand proud. An inner space of courage where shame and guilt do not reside.
Face the Critics
Head up, Shout loud…
Out the monster,
Out his lies.
Head up, Shout loud..
Rid the shame
Rid the guilt.
Head up, Shout loud..
Tell the world
Tell them all.
Head up, Shout loud..
Empty the pain
Empty heart again.
There’s a place within a grieving soul that longs to come out of hiding. A place where release from the layers
of bondage is the first step in revealing and recovering the fragments for attaining wholeness and a healthy self.
There is a single defining moment when simply stepping out despite the fear is the face of bravery that will crumble the giants blocking the way to the promise land.
You engage me sturdy
Show fists with all your might.
I charge forth
With brutal barge
I don’t take flight.
I have the courage to fight,
I shall not falter
Nor tumble down
For hollow plight.
I will hold on to this tight.
Bound by thrust
Not to your delight.
I’ll stand my ground
I will have my right.
There is a time to be still and a time to move to action, and a time to be silent and a time to move mountains with a single command.
There are marionette strings that won’t hold the weight of the green-eyed monsters indefinitely.
And once they have been cut, the final curtain will fall.
Beautifully Orchestrated Malice
Like a conductor beautifully crafting her symphony;
My hatred for her ignites
Her poison soaked baton
Each stroke exaggerated, a destructive cacophony
Leading her disciples
My pity for them surfaces
Spinning in the air beautifully
Embracing assumed glory
Green eyes glow
Destructive envy of a concrete heart
Baton down with sin driven satisfaction
Fellows drop silently
There is a bottle that cannot contain the screams forever. It’s bubbling and brimming over with the hurts
that must be poured out in order for the healing to flow freely.
There is a room deep within the chambers of a heart that harvests the pain of memories that will never fade into nothing.
Yet there is a room that must be discovered in order to dislodge the knife butchering a mind unable to forget.
There’s a bullet in my heart
Causing me mind-bending pain.
Can’t seem to quite
squeeze hard enough
Feels like someone
Is slowly ripping out the staples
I used to bind my heart.
Hold it altogether
Cannot beat in time
Need to stop the crushing
Like distorted gabber
Arrhythmias surface wide.
Blood vessels sliced.
And ventricles oozing leaks.
Electrical conduction is in overdrive.
There’s a bullet in my heart
Causing me mind bending pain
Can’t seem to quite
Squeeze hard enough
There’s a secret passage that leads to freedom, a path that leads to the purging of unwelcome garbage cluttering
a mind and hindering a spirit worthy of flight.
Erasing the Ingrained