A Powerful Art Exhibit
Using the "Story Telling" Art of Steve Head
About This Exhibit
His show is called, “Family Secrets” and features works about his own life experience and family. In 2014, Steve began “telling stories” using mixed media and digital collage that incorporated vintage black & white photos of family genealogy. Like tombstones in a graveyard, the old photos held stories of real people and real events. One mixed media piece, called “Lost & Found” was about a grandmother who suffered from mental illness. That piece will be featured in this exhibit along with many other pieces that all share the same theme, “Story Telling Thru Art.” They cover topics like, Schizophrenia, early onset Alzheimer’s, substance abuse, poverty and emotional woundedness. This powerful “Family Secrets” exhibit has touched hearts and started important conversations everywhere it has shown.
Why Share These “Stories”?
My parents were poor and illiterate. They were farm people from Oklahoma who migrated to California during the great depression. My parents came from large, poor and dysfunctional families, and that generational mindset continued into my own childhood. Our family history and genealogy included some who suffered from alcoholism and mental illness. My Great grandfather, Phelix spent some time in the Oklahoma State Mental Hospital in Norman, as did my paternal grandmother, Mary Luisa, who took her own life there in 1943. My oldest siblings, Gene and Irma both had alcohol problems and Irma suffered from Schizophrenia from about age 19 on. There was also abuse that took place throughout my immediate and extended family; Physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse and even what some would call spiritual abuse. All the poverty, abuse and dysfunction took a toll on the emotions and spirits of nearly everyone related to this clan of farm folks from rural America.
For most all of my life, I carried around a giant hole in my heart that was void of the love and nurturing that should have been there in my childhood. I also carried a soul full of SHAME of who I thought I was and for what had happened to me throughout my early life. Later in life, I learned that REDEMPTION and HEALING could only occur when I acknowledged that SHAME and overcame it. This exhibit is a way to bring much of that pain and dysfunction “into the light” and once and for all say to the world, “None of what happened in my family was MY fault. And, I don’t need to carry this SHAME any longer.” I hope my work makes it more comfortable for others to talk about their own SHAME and SECRETS and for your healing to begin!
The Storytelling Artwork of Steve Head ... Here are some of the pieces: