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Cobra neck* - body and drawing workshop n. 8

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

* Cobra are poisonous snakes that expand their necks into a hood when they feel in danger. There are several species of cobras, but not all of them belong to the same family.

There are several species of cobras, but not all of them belong to the same family.

“I started to scratch. And then I got so much pleasure from scratching, and scratching and scratching... that I just crossed out!”. Take the risk. If you surrender to what is not well known how it will work. Look at yourself without a preconceived image or model. So I started this self-portrait workshop with a very simple exercise: close your eyes and touch your face with your fingertips. What new portraits of myself can come out of this?

This is the second workshop I've done with the older Butantan group, coordinated by psychologist Horácio Alberto Fernandes Filho, and every time I meet them, I find it more surprising how to share them with others, especially in a context of doing, of creating, tracing paths together can round and soften the edges of life.

“One thing I thought drew a lot of attention about my face was the eyes. But now, at almost 75, I noticed that they are decreasing”. "I tried not to make a straight line." One of the eyes is fingered. Full of stitches. "It's what I see least." The eyes shrink. Perception is magnified. I draw and highlight my waning eyes. Now they are like that. They already had another way. Now they're just different. I take the risk, the layout of this situation. The image I show others, my selfie, changes with every tick of the clock. "Like my face is kind of slipping."

And for those who think that there is not much to do with the passage of everything, the testimonies and drawings that resulted from this 8. meeting of Women and Metamorphoses prove the opposite: there is a lot to do, regardless of age or stage of life in what we do. Starting with recognizing the beauty of everything that is. That transforms. And sharing impressions, perceptions, speaking and being heard. Self-drawing and being proud to describe how I made this drawing, the process I went through to arrive at this composition, which is already being lost to form another one.

"I made heart movements, from the outside to the inside." The heart that flows from the outside to the inside in circular motions. In this brief and subtle gesture, under an amplified perspective, the secret of relationality, of the phases and development of an individual.

"Because I think we are very addicted to combing hair." Addicted to pleasing. In giving to the other what I believe will make me accepted. Beauty recipes and pleasant looks that a person is forced to follow. Why? "I did the same circles I did with my fingers all over the face... In the hair it wasn't circular." A cut in fluidity.

“I didn't do circular motions. I pressed. To activate points that are not usually touched”. How many points are untouched in an individual's life? Especially when you get older. And also counting on a pandemic that forces us to social distance. Children grow up and make their lives. Partners are gone. The skin acquires traits and scratches and is no longer so attractive in the eyes of normality. "A cat, a kitten... A TIGERS". “I couldn't let go of the figurative. So I simulated”. Simulating the image itself is also a way of seeing yourself. See me as what makes me complete. A cat, a tigress, a werewolf. Cobra. “I tried to make the ear, but something so misshapen came out that I abandoned it. I haven't explored. And, on the other side, I didn't even have an ear”. Being able to choose what I will explore in my story, in my self-image. “I made my face highlighting the nose, which is a big nose. But my smile too. I like my smile”. “Once in my life they proposed plastic surgery because I have many dark circles under my eyes... He put a mirror in front of me and touched two spots on my face that have totally changed... I used my money: I went to India ”.

Note on the composition of this text:

I started writing this text, citing the names of each woman who made each statement. As I progressed, I noticed that my voice began to mix with theirs and that their voices could be joined in a mosaic, forming different contents that combine together. I abandoned the authorship, leaving only quotation marks to differentiate the afterthought and the words and thoughts born during this meeting. I identify with every word that I didn't say.


Ana Brentano

Cira Cahenca

Dulce Maria Matheus

Eliana Haberli

Horácio Alberto Fernandes Filho

Lucy Parmagnani

Maria Aparecida de Mattos

Mary Help of Christians

Maria José Silveira Santos

Marilia Christova

marisa christovam

Mercia Tolendal Greguol

Miriam Fernandes Hunnicutt

Sonia Sodré

Zelia Gomes

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