This tapestry I created in 2008-2010. It was inspired by the following experience:
“Once when I was swimming in the ocean at the Great Barrier Reef, every little part of my skin being touched by water, lots of small fish came swimming around me and started nibbling on my skin. It was a magical sensation and moment”.
I started creating the tapestry in 2008, 10 years after the experience, and in 2010 I called it “With Bated Breath”. But ever since, even though I thought the title to be beautiful in itself, I’ve always felt that there was something not quite right about it. I chose the title because it was referring to holding one’s breath when under water and holding your breath for a moment out of excitement because something good is happening or going to come your way. So It didn’t really fit my original experience and inspiration for this work at all. Now I know what was wrong about the title. Experiences throughout my life had taught me that whenever something good is happening or about to happen to you, you hold your breath and you fight or flee. I was having an automatic physiological reaction to a blissful moment because my system perceived it as stressful. The perception of threat activated my sympathetic nervous system and triggered an acute stress response that prepared my body to fight or flee. And so my tapestry, originally inspired by such a magical and blissful moment, ended up being called “With Bated Breath”. But in the last 11 years I did a lot of self-enquiry and inner work. I learned that when you’re having or about to have a blissful moment you don’t hold your breath and fight or flee, no, instead you bathe in it and breathe. Aaahhh!
So now my tapestry is given the name “Bathe and Breathe”, and with this new title this work is finally complete.