a. Alleviation of or deliverance from distress, anxiety, or some other emotional burden; the feeling accompanying this; mental relaxation, release, or reassurance. b. Ease from or alleviation of physical pain or discomfort Oxford English Dictionary definition
It has been difficult to find a word that represents the feelings I am hoping to evoke with my work but at this stage I have settled on relief. I am referring to the feeling I experience when I mindfully create, pushing personal anxieties to the back of my mind for a time. Relief can also reference the feeling that results from indulging the compulsion I have to admit shame or failure. In some ways it relates to the healing sometimes cited as being achievable through the process of creating, but I feel that healing is too strong and permanent a word for this context. I am thinking of relief as a more temporary and partial easing, rather than a definitive cure. I would like to be able to share this feeling of relief with the viewer in the form of recognition by the viewer that I am also acknowledging the viewer’s own difficult story, and conveying to them the understanding that they are not alone. Obviously healing is unrealistic but I would be content if I could evoke a small momentary easing of pain, a little bit of relief. Through the medium of quilting, I hope to also call up relief, by the medium’s relationship to warmth and comfort.