Working together for inspiration in this artistic collaboration, artist Zsuzsanna Safranyos and I ended up with a moving collection of work that not only speaks to motherhood and the complex emotions involved, but also romantic relationships combined with traumatic experiences and the pain and heartbreak that women all too often endure.
Zsuzsanna had 24 hours to create the first painting, then sent me the image of the painting then I had 24 hours to create a painting as a response to what she painted. The collaboration went back and forth like that for two weeks.
We never discussed a direction or a plan for these pieces,
I wanted to use a similar colour palette and the flower from my partner’s painting but I wanted to pull the flower from an abstract world into a real one. – Emma
I tried to carry on the playfulness (of childhood) with the bubbles and preserved the flower motive. However, little girl became an adult woman who can’t sleep at night.” – Zsuzsanna
This painting depicts the aftermath of an assault on myself by a guy I considered a friend. I thought of reasons a woman might not sleep at night, and this was pretty high on the list. There was something the way the figure she painted was sitting that made this memory come back for me. The flower is the small tattoo on her leg, it represents a happier more carefree time in her life. – Emma
“Her hair inspired me… Reminded me a certain type of tree but I could not paint that one … so I just ended up painting what I painted lol Anyways … Somehow I feel always sorry for those trees which are standing alone In a big field. Yeah, trees are strong and stable but standing alone in the middle of nowhere such a heartbreaking situation.. I used the flower as the Sun.. but the Sun doesn’t has potential meaning here so really kind of faded.” – Zsuzsanna
Her painting and what she wrote about it made me think about how sometimes our personal perspectives make us miss the bigger picture. When our view point is only black and white we miss all the beautiful colours in the world. The flower is the one thing of colour in her life but she doesn’t see it and it’s dying. – Emma
“My painting is about what she really would like to happen. She wants to travel somewhere to start her life over. She desires a happier life. No face and details because it’s basically just her wish…daydreaming. The suitcase with the flower is pink/red because maybe she wants to meet her lover who lives in long distance.” – Zsuzsanna
I was wondering if she was running away from her problems or perhaps her problems aren’t that bad and by turning her back on them she is running towards a bright new start. It is all vague and unknown. My personal thoughts are if she hasn’t resolved her conflicts then seeking out a relationship is not a good idea. Yet her hope is still there for a better future. The flower watches on in the foreground uncertain. – Emma
“Obstacles. We always have obstacles along the line in our life, but when a woman decides to do something only a brick wall can stop her… or she can even break that wall into small pieces to reach a goal…. like Wonder Woman. The flower is now graffiti on the wall.” – Zsuzsanna
This is my version of taking on the obstacle and freedom on the other side of the wall. It is a break through of her own making. The hair colour is reminiscent of the brick wall in my partner’s painting, but now it is dissolving and we are seeing colour through it and within it. She holds the flower now because she is owning her problems and coming up with the solutions herself. – Emma
“The blue dot in the middle of each (hair)swirl/wave you painted reminded me to peacock feathers. It meant to be a “male and a female feather” when they finally meet.” – Zsuzsanna
I loved my partner’s painting of the peacock feathers but I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of wrapping up the story we had been creating of this woman’s journey with her meeting a man. She had been through so much that it felt to me the addition of a romantic partner at this final stage was not an appropriate way to end it. So it ends where it began, with a flower only now it is more vibrant and has more depth and many many petals to symbolise all the layers of growth. – Emma