Update on Kim Noble, Activist Artist

I check the statistics for my blog every week or so to see which posts are popular and what key words have been used in searches. The number of people reading  “Kim Noble, Activist Artist” started to climb. At first, two or three people consistently read it each day and I thought maybe I should do an update if Kim was willing. But then something really weird happened – the numbers of views increased steadily to a high of 280 on 12/14. I wrote Kim and asked her if she knew what was going on.

Then I found out that things had gotten really wierd!

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the conspiracy claims about Pizzagate. Basically, some private email of John Podesta was hacked and leaked. (Podesta is the former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and champion of declassifying many CIA documents, including those on UFO’s.) People started to claim that the e-mails contained secret codes relating to child sexual abuse. “Cheese pizza” was supposed to stand for “child pornography.” A summary of this confusing conspiracy theory can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizzagate_conspiracy_theory

Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington D.C. was accused of being the center of a child sex ring. The owner and employees were harassed and received dealing with trollsdeath threats both by phone and on-line. Other business in the neighborhood were also targeted.

Kim Noble believes that somebody found my blog post and shared it with the “Pizzagate” conspiracy people, saying that she had sold one of her paintings to the owner of Comet Ping Pong. She, too, started to get badly harassed. She told me that she got 90,000 hits on her paintings’ website in one day!!!  Luckily, things have calmed way down by now.

Kim says:

“It has been strange and in the beginning very frightening. I was told by my agent, therapist and friends not to respond. I sat watching for two days and thought no they are so wrong I need to respond. I then answered or commented on every comment. Now it is quiet and people have been very supportive, thanked me and said I should be a spokes person for Pizzagate, not that I would, but the turn around and support now is amazing. One person answered that they would of preferred to learn about abuse from my paintings rather than their babysitter. What else needs to be said?”

Talk about bravery! I think the world of Kim.

P.S. Remember that we can’t all be Kim, and that we shouldn’t try. We can try to be our true selves and put ourselves out in the world as much or as little as is right for us. By being our true, real selves, not what the perpetrators taught us we were, or tried to turn us into, we make the world a more genuine, more loving place.

If I Could Paint with Blood

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I was looking back over old posts, and found that the painting didn’t come through in this one. Which greatly detracts from the text! So I am going to try again and hope for better results. I made a few minor edits while I was at it.

 

After I remembered the sexual abuse, but before I remembered ritual abuse, I worked a lot with self-hypnosis. It told me nothing new about my past but it helped me deal with the feelings that had been buried so long. That was okay; I wasn’t looking for more information. I was trying to absorb what I already had learned, which was far more than I ever wanted to know.

An early phrase that came up was “If I could write with blood…” which meant, or I thought it meant, was that the intensity of writing in blood would drive home the meaning of what I wanted to communicate. Like taking somebody by the shoulders, shaking them, and yelling, “Listen to me!!!” At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to say, I just knew I wanted a really powerful way of expressing myself.

A few days later I took out pencil and watercolors and started sketching my hand. It was as if the painting painted itself — it was like one of those coloring books from my childhood where you went over the page with a wet brush and a picture magically appeared. (Wonder if that kind of coloring book is still available?) My mind was blank as I did this.

I have never cut my wrists, and so there are no scars. But I was painting a scar — saying that my pain was so great that I wanted to, or could have, or might just as well have tried to kill myself. And the red? Is it blood, or flames, or both? I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. But it surely signifies injury and pain and it surely is intense.

Painting on my wrist is telling, if not in words, and the real scars that many of us carry are an intense, compelling way of telling. It is so sad that people cannot understand what we are saying when we hurt ourselves or even that we are trying to communicate something deep and awful. At times we ourselves cannot understand that we are trying to talk about what happened to us.

We have to find a way to translate our actions into words, and then we can make sense of why we hurt ourselves and forgive ourselves for trying to speak in the only way we had at the time.

Kim Noble, Activist Artist

I promised I would try and do a series on activist artists, and here I am keeping that promise. The first artist I profiled was Lynn Schirmer (https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/lynn-schirmer-activist-artist/) Now I am gong to introduce you to Kim Noble.

Kim is an fifty-three year old English woman who spent her teens and young adult life in and out of psychiatric hospitals. Like many, she collected a variety of diagnoses until her DID was recognized in 1995.

She has, and always has had, strong amnestic barriers between her personalities. There is no co-consciousness, no internal communication, and only a few personalities reluctantly concede they share the body with others. She has two ways of finding out about her other personalities: what her therapist tells her, and what her artworks shows her. She can’t imagine it otherwise; co-consciousness, to her, would be a total invasion of privacy, as if somebody was constantly spying on her. And having to listen to alters talking inside! No thanks.

The person called Kim Noble in the art world is really Patricia, the third alter to manage daily life. (People who have known her a long time call her Patricia, but she introduces herself now as Kim.) Patricia is extremely  capable; she fought social services to be allowed to raise her daughter — and won. *1 She came though a horrible attack when acid was thrown in her face and her attacker tried to set her on fire while she was asleep in bed. Indomitable is the word that comes to my mind.

In the course of her therapy, she worked for a few months in 2004 with an support worker who was studying art therapy. The creative floodgates opened, and first one, then another personality took to painting like ducks to water. Each personality has a different style, ranging from abstract art to realism. Some depict the abuse they suffered as children, others do not paint of the abuse; and their paintings therefore show a wide range of content.

Kim told me: “The main reason for going public was our art. I was told ‘come back when your art has settled’ as galleries did not understand the different styles. After they accepted that the reason was being DID and our work was getting a lot of interest, I realised this was a great way for people to have an understanding of DID and help other people not so lucky to get help and support as we have.”

And go public she did. As of today, she has shown in over 30 galleries in England, the United States, Spain, and the Netherlands and has participated in 35 group exhibitions with other artists. And she is in a gallery in Second Life! Think of the number of people who have learned about DID from just one show, then multiply it by 65.

Several of her personalities allow themselves to be interviewed. Patricia even had the courage to appear on Oprah!!!!!  *2 And think of the number of people who saw her there!!!!!!

Let me show you a few of these paintings. All are acrylic on canvas. I feel bad because I have selected only five artists and neglected the other nine. You can see works by the others at http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimnoble/sets/

1 desert

Here is “Green Desert” by Patricia, who now is responsible for everyday life — raising her daughter, paying the bills, going to therapy. She uses serene colors and is grounded in nature. I find her work exquisite and could easily live happily with any of her paintings on my wall.

2 world

“In his own World”

3 man

“Coming or Going Man”

These two paintings are by Abi, and are the most representational. To my eyes, the placement of the figures and the spaciousness evoke loneliness but also a sense of depth and meaning beyond the literal. I love the synergy between the color palette and the emotional content.

4 help

“Help Please”

5 training

“Training in Progress”

These two are by Ria Pratt, and are scenes of the abuse she endured. She often uses backwards writing and shows sketchy figures floating above the children being tortured, reminding me of out of body experiences. Her colors are vivid and the compositions striking.

6 game

“Game of Life”

Judy, who is fifteen, painted “Game of Life.” It is clearly about abuse, but is less literal, more symbolic, than Ria Pratt’s work.

7 box

This box is by Key. You can’t see all the words and symbols, but you may recognize the Kabala in the center. Key’s work haunts me because I resonate with what is being said, or perhaps not said.

Kim has written her autobiography, “All of Me.” There is a preview of it on Google Books and also on Amazon. She’s just finished  a foreword for a book for survivors, “Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control,” which will be published next year and is by the Canadian psychologist/author Alison Miller. Kim is looking forward to writing a more detailed book in the near future.

But art is still and always her first love. In March of 2014 there will be an exhibition at the Tavistock Clinic in London. This is a big step toward exhibiting in main-stream venues and moving away from having her work classified as Outsider Art. She hopes, in the near future, to be able to support herself and her daughter through the sale of her paintings.

Now, I want to make something abundantly clear. Nobody expects you (or me) to achieve half of what Kim has. Remember that we each have our own abilities and talents and that we use them as best we can to fight against ritual abuse. There is no point in comparing yourself to others: it only leads to putting yourself down and narrowing your options. Telling just one person is activism, working hard on yourself is activism, fighting to get free or stay free is the absolutely most powerful of all forms of activism. Do what you can, and rejoice in your accomplishments, for every day you disobey what you were taught in the cult is a triumph.

*1 “It is a testament to Kim’s strength that she is a mother at all as Aimee was taken away by social services at birth to be put up for adoption. Kim took her fight all the way to the High Court and was assessed by two independent psychiatrists in the process — they both confirmed she was no danger to her child.” from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/kim-noble-a-woman-divided-413223.html
*2 http://www.kimnoble.com/kim_noble%20on%20oprah%202.htm