The fall equinox is on September 22 this year. There is an article on the equinox at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Warning: the images in this essay are very graphic. They are used with permission, but Lynn asks that you not copy or reproduce them without contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming of age in the ’60’s, my initial idea of activism consisted of sit-ins, marches, demonstrations, and handing bouquets of roses to bemused policemen. It has broadened considerably since then.
Now it has expanded to include art, fiction, and poetry. I find that art is exceptionally well adapted to activism. It speaks to us through the eyes, the mind, and the heart simultaneously. And, unlike roses, most art is lasting and can reach out to future generations.
From time to time I’d like to introduce you to some amazing artists who are survivors of ritual abuse; some are survivors of military/government mind control as well. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to draw or paint or sculpt our experiences and a thousand times more courage to show our work publicly. If we make this choice, we expose ourselves to skepticism, ridicule, and rejection of our very souls, not just the particular piece of work we have offered as a gift to all who may see it.
Today I’m going to talk about Lynn Schirmer, who draws and paints her abuse and its effects, exhibits her work, and opens her studio to the general public. She also curates shows of others’ works, encouraging dozens of other artists to speak out in their own voices.
Lynn is completely open about her background. “I was born into a family active in organized group ritualistic and sadistic pedophilia. Along with profiting from child pornography and prostitution, the group was also networked to people involved with government medical and behavioral experimentation programs. . . . From earliest memory I was subjected to unspeakable acts of torture. It occurred within private settings, such as family/group gatherings, and at research facilities during experimentation sessions.” (http://lynnsart.net/index.php/about/)
She gets even more explicit in the pages from her journal at http://lynnsart.net/index.php/about/go-ahead-and-tell-me/. Here you will find methods of torture, details of her system, even names of perpetrators. Images of a journal drawing and a painting were presented by Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson to the 2004 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women panel.
The over-riding theme in Lynn’s artwork is dissociation. Body parts are disconnected and reassembled, multiple figures are merged into one. Colors swirl, uniting and then separating the forms. A sense of dread and terror permeates her work.
Recently she has started experimenting with more geometric compositions, where soft, pretty colors and balanced composition contrast with horrific content. It is every bit as disturbing as the more fragmented pieces.
Lynn is totally prolific. This summer she exhibited in three shows — one solo — and curated a large exhibit and street art project last year. Among her major efforts are “Franklin and Madeline,” a two-person (James Cicatko and Lynn Schirmer) show about the Franklin Scandal in 2007. http://schirmerstudio.com/fm. “After Dinner Party is a website, exhibit, performance, and street art project she created to help educate the public about newly rediscovered knowledge of female anatomy.” http://afterdinnerparty.com/. Guess what it’s about!
Designing websites helps pay the rent in slow months. She created two of the best known RA/MC sites; S.M.A.R.T.S.’ ritual abuse pages at http://ritualabuse.us/ and “Ritual Abuse, Ritual Crime, and Healing” at http://www.ra-info.org, as well as http://nonstatetorture.org). They are visually elegant, easy to find your way around, non-triggering, and technically simple for the site owner to modify. See http://likelyarts.com/ for demos and be sure and check out the portfolio section.
I would love to have her talent, courage, and energy. Her background — no — I’ll stick with my own, thanks, not that I have a choice. But comparisons are pointless. Each of us does what we can to mend our broken self and heal the wounded world, and that is more than enough.