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This work is by Katje Sabin.

Back From Hell

I did this work in Sumi Moon Palace ink on the Pacon paper.

I've had a pretty rough time over the last five years. Between progressing illness and disability, coming to the end of my 30-year "career" as a full-time homeschooling mother of four, struggling with mental health and trauma issues, and all the other changes that come with being an older woman in today's youth-obsessed culture (on top of the things that everybody else is facing like
the pandemic and domestic terrorists and inflation), I have found solace, strength, and wisdom from those who have wrestled with similar demons.

I found this quote in a Roxane Gay interview of Monica Lewinsky in Vanity Fair


and it felt like I had been hit between the eyes with a tuna... the thought that not only might I survive these rotten years, but that they might eventually reveal treasures and gifts that could bring me to an even better place someday?   That idea was kind of earthshaking to someone who was convinced that she was done, used up, a waste of space.

I decided to play with different layouts and came up with a symmetrical design that really clicked for me. Reggie suggested doing a reverse image and giving it a dramatic background, so I gave it another go and this is what happened.

I know this isn't the usual technical background I suspect you are hoping for from your students, and I expect that you'll probably edit out most of what I wrote up there. Still... thank you for wanting to recognize this piece. It feels pretty powerful to me, and I'm glad I did it. Thank you.


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