We seldom see artists using their gifts to heal and empower another human
being through their art. This is the case with Ruby Rumié in her project
Hálito Divino – Divine Breath
. The 32 crowned vessels presented in this exhibition
represent rebirth, empowerment and deliverance.
Rumié worked with 100 women from her native city of Cartagena de Indias,
aged 18 to 72, who had been the victims of domestic violence. In a series of
workshops, the women worked through their pain, later becoming liberated
from their trauma and significantly changing their reality.
In the first phase of the project, Rumié created a series of clay vessels of different
shapes, which each participant chose according to the breadth and depth
of their pain. They then exhaled their pain inside the vessel, releasing it along
with their sorrow in an intimate and powerful exercise that promoted cleansing.
The experience culminated in acknowledging this breath as a force of life.
The vessels were then sealed and marked with the initials of each participant,
a symbolic gesture to encapsulate their grief.
The second phase of the project involved the stage of mourning, represented
by 100 black vessels corresponding in size and shape to the first ones, but now
allowing the participants to acknowledge their pain and let it go, an emblematic
and most powerful catharsis. These vessels were to be destroyed later.
Photographs of these first two stages are shown in the exhibition.
Each participant was given the figure of a woman as an amulet, symbolizing her
participation. Having searched for a prototype of Woman who represents all
women, the artist goes beyond the limits of these 100 participants as well as
Cartagena to encompass women universally in their pain, their healing
process and their emancipation.
This exhibition of 32 crowned vessels symbolizes the New Woman: her rebirth,
liberation, and new beginning. The crowns of cast brass figures are gilt or
painted white, appearing individually and in groups, with their heads or legs
surrounded by cubes, proud and sure of themselves, saying “Here I am.” A dome
with 1,300 figures represents these revitalized women accepting their worth
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