Storm of the i: An Artobiography: Tina Collen

From a young age, Tina Collen was artistic and independent. Squirreling herself away behind a living room chair where she made little objects d’art, young Tina fostered her creativity, while garnering a bit of solitude and peace of mind.

Angry, controlling and irrational are just three of the many negative adjectives that describe the father Tina grew up with; and, more often than not, all of those adjectives seemed to be aimed solely at her.

Never knowing when her father’s anger would erupt, Tina and the rest of the family walked on egg shells daily. Even the days that seemed to go right, would inevitably be ruined by her father’s enraged diatribes and cruel comments that seemed to stem from projection of his own self-loathing.

When Tina was a teenager, her father took her on an extensive trip to Paris. Although all signs pointed to a potential breakthrough in their relationship, her father would inevitable and irreversibly ruin the entire trip; leaving Tina with feelings of confusion and shame that would continue to chip away at her already-eroding self-esteem.

As she began to create her art pieces, little by little Tina realized they reflected a deep emptiness within her that had been subconsciously suppressed over the years; a void that would continue to grow throughout her marriage to a wonderful man and even through the raising of two fantastic sons.

Not until Tina had the insight into her own darkness did she begin to seek the light. Storm of the i is part memoir, part art exhibit and part introspective. A one-woman narrative of her life-long climb out of the depth of loss and sadness and a tangible procession of grief for what could have been, but never was; told through a veritable showcase of beautifully rendered sculptures, paintings, drawings and other creative artistry.

Having lived a life of volatility and resentment that encompassed decades, it says a lot about Tina’s strength and determination to move forward with her life and finally find the courage to say, “Enough!”

Hopefully, when Tina remembers her heartbreaking past and all the opportunities of reconciliation that were wasted, she will realize that the only one who truly missed out was her father.

 April 1st, 2016  
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