When we talk about the heart, we often don’t actually mean the physical organ that pumps blood through our bodies. I don’t know when the heart began to be associated with our desires and emotions, but it was certainly a long time ago. Poets and songwriters throughout the ages have written about following their hearts, falling in love, and being unable to control their desires. The Heart Wants What it Wants is based on this idea.
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
― Blaise Pascal
Just like the poets, we find that our hearts and heads can be at odds. The process for this layered collage turned out to be similar. My heart wanted it to be super emotional, while my head wanted to keep that part of me shielded. As I put down a layer of colored magazine pages, I thought that too much was revealed. This led me to cover that layer with vintage ephemera, but that still didn’t seem right. We all face these decisions at times. How much of ourselves do we really want others to see? As an artist, it’s sometimes necessary to reveal personal things, because that’s what makes our work authentic and relatable. So I put more layers on, and tore parts of them off, adding and subtracting layers of paper until it felt right.
Nothing specific is revealed, but there are hints and glimpses. A handwritten letter, only a piece of it showing. A map of somewhere, subtly visable through a film of paper. The heart image comes from a vintage medical book. I balanced this with a photo of cherries, to suggest life and happiness. Making a layered collage is fun, but not always easy. How much to leave on, which parts to tear off? I leave it to each viewer to decide what it means for him/her. Like a poem, its meaning isn’t literal; you have to look with your heart.