Archive: The Experience of Trauma

The Freeze series were among my first weavings which related to the impact of trauma; my work has since developed and moved on. As part of the life journey, I include some of them here. The more commonly known reactions to trauma are fight and flight. Freeze is another reaction.

On her Vital Links website, Sheila Frick writes about this so eloquently. ‘Our inborn fight, flight, freeze responses are automatic responses that help us cope when faced with dangerous situations. When we feel threatened, these subcortical mechanisms in the brain are triggered automatically. When triggered, our bodies experience an increase in physiological arousal and in muscular tension that hastens our ability to escape from the perceived threat, and or prepare our muscles to engage for fight. When we are unable to move away or strike back, in response to something dangerous, we are left with the option to freeze. The freeze response is the point where one becomes predisposed to traumatic stress disorders. The immobility of a freeze reaction is an incomplete response to danger. When one is frozen by fear as a means to survival, the body is often left in a state of hypertension and heightened physiological arousal that can remain even when the danger has passed.’

The colour palette has been taken from the Norwegian landscapes and wildlife.

The bleak landscape within which the ice gathers and creates forms.

Meandering Snow

Icy Rivulets

Colours and textures of glacial forms – slow to warm up.

Norwegian Glacier

Freeze I

Some things are so painful that heaven must be weeping.

Heaven's Tears

Heaven’s Tears


Migrating birds have their own internal compass to guide them on their journeys. A beautiful film called ‘Winged Migration’  depicts the seasonal changes of habitats that birds seek and find.  A regular stopover for some geese on this journey is to a particular farm in France, where the kindness of the farmer offering food, is much appreciated. Living in a human body, we have the ability to directly sense our own homecomings and becoming whole. The green form in the piece depicts what the geese might see from above, and their feathers depicted in wrapped silver threads.