For Immediate Release: The Soul Fire Collection at the United Nations Today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
An Art Collection of 42 Transformational Artists Shown Today at the United Nations
THE UNITED NATIONS PLAZA, New York – March 4, 2013
Today in New York the paintings of 42 women artists will be shown at the United Nations. This series is called The Soul Fire Collection and features 126 images in acrylic painted by women around the world. The Founder of the Color of Woman School, Shiloh Sophia McCloud will be sharing the works as a part of her presentation at the CSW 57 – The 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. McCloud is a part of the panel Women and Violence: Human Rights Activism Through Arts and Film sponsored by the Women’s United Nations Network (WUNRN) and the Women’s News Network (WNN).
“This series is a testament that healing and transformation are possible through intentional creativity,” says McCloud. Just 2 years ago none of these paintings existed. Eight out of 10 of the women did not even identify as artists. And look what they have created. These paintings were made with the Color of Woman method based on intentional creativity and intuitive painting in which the artist looks within for images and draws her inspiration right from the heart. These images are not only a healing journey, but the painting itself becomes an icon of what’s possible for her life and for her own self-image.
To see The Soul Fire Collection yourself, you can visit www.redthreadnation.com.
The theme for the show is soul fire, which is a metaphor of the process of waking up to one’s life and one’s calling. The Color of Woman School asserts that to risk being self expressed is to risk being fully alive. McCloud says, “There is much work that needs to be done to end the violence, and while we are doing that it is absolutely essential for us to provide tools for healing that really work – that put the tools directly into the hands of the woman herself.”
McCloud started teaching this style of visionary painting called the Color of Woman Method in 2004, and is scheduled to speak at the 57th UN CSW today at 4:30pm EST at the United Nations. She will speak on the healing power of creative acts, and particularly painting, on the lives of women and how this kind of work can be employed for women post trauma to bring healing into their lives.
“Many of us have spent our lives trying to hide who we are and silencing our voices and images in order to be safe. But safety is an illusion when we cut ourselves off from who we are. The heart of this work is about learning how to navigate our internal guidance system. We are such complex beings and not many of us know how to truly think. For example, to think a thought we haven’t thought before. Or to make choices that are not based on past wounding, but instead are based in our inner promptings, our soul longings. Through intentional creativity, with practice, anyone can learn how to listen and act from an authentic, core place within themselves, and art is the way to make that happen. In the Color of Woman Method we employ techniques like Jung’s Active Imagination, as well as intuition, intention and communication with our internal self, our Muse. When we begin to express ourselves through creativity, a natural progression of healing becomes possible,” says McCloud.
McCloud has worked in the arts for close to 20 years, starting her career as a professional artist at the age of 23. She has represented hundreds of women through her Northern California galleries. McCloud asserts, “It is shows like The Soul Fire Collection that will help us continue to move across the borders and boundaries, through our common language of image.”
There is also something unique about this show, beyond how inspirational the images are. These women included in the collection did not just study to become artists at the Color of Woman School, each one trained to teach the method, and is leading her own workshops online and in person across the globe. With the current potential of online education, the reach of these teachings is enormous and expanding.
Says McCloud, “There is an uprising of creative beings happening around the world now and we are a part of gathering them together. We confirm what people already know – there is relief from suffering through creative acts. This kind of work is a witness to the power of beauty and story as an antidote to negative self images and the suffering caused in our lives when we don’t believe in ourselves and who we are.”
This showing is the core part of McCloud’s presentation at the United Nations. She was invited to speak by WUNRN – The Women’s United Nations Network. The UN Commission on the Status of Women conference can be traced back in 1945. Today, the Commission has been asked by the UN General Assembly to develop its role in mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities, among other initiatives. In addition to invited delegates, the conference is expected to draw over 4,000 women from diverse global regions. These women and the general public are invited to hear the delegates – including Shiloh McCloud – and other speakers who will be part of the event sponsored by the Women News Network (WNN) and the Women’s United Nations Report Network (WUNRN).
Shiloh McCloud is a visionary artist and poet. Her gallery, Shiloh Sophia Gallery, is located in Northern California. Through her work with Cosmic Cowgirls University, Color of Woman School and now the Red Thread Nation, the education they offer serves over 300 women per month in online and in-person courses, and reaches upwards of 15,000 viewers worldwide on a monthly basis. McCloud has published seven books, teaches at Sofia University and can be found most mornings in her studio, painting her prayers.
The Soul Fire Collection is dedicated to lighting the soul fires of human beings.
To see the Collection yourself, you can visit www.redthreadnation.com.
Here’s a note from the 15-year-old son of one of these artists, a graduate of the Color of Woman Teacher Training that he asked his mom to share with us: “Thank you to all who helped clear the road of life for my mum. Before you came I could see that mum wasn’t sure what way to turn, then you all came along to help her. You cleared the fog and paved the road as best as you could. Now I see my mum with a beautiful smile whilst she is heading in the right direction. I thank you again a million times more for bringing spark to her divine soul and thumping heart. Thank you for the divine feminine!”
Here is what this Australian mom, now an artist and a teacher, has to say: “How I interpret living in a ‘fog’ is how I felt from the impact of domestic violence and abuse, those frozen moments, too scared to leave and too scared to stay. Finding my voice through these paintings, coming into an awareness of the sacred, my empowerment, the knowledge that resides within us not usually available through conventional means, but accessible through this work, harmonizing my voice with the voices of women in all the world.
“I changed my reactions and created stronger boundaries, with love. Not able to change others, I had to stand up and be the change for my well-being, my children’s, my partner’s, and that of my community. My vision is now stronger and this has impacted my personal life, through to my family, including that of my partner who was stuck in his cycle of childhood trauma. We are communicating and choosing peace, one step at a time, and for me, by continuing with one trusting brush-stroke at a time.
“The journey of one painting led to an awareness of issues affecting girls and women in the world today. This work has enabled my spark and light to begin a change and healing in others, like all women and those in the Color of Woman, we all have our story, and through our experiences we can share and light the spark, the inner light and soul fire of others.
“I am just at the beginning of my journey with teaching The Color of Woman Method to others in my community, but my expression is already on its way to reaching others whose lives have been impacted by violence, abuse, or who need a little help or reassurance to trust their own power and visionary creative being, which exists in each and every one of us from the day we were born.