Forming Common Threads by Mari Eckstein Gower

Forming Common Threads examines how storytelling informs, inspires and transforms our lives. I’ve taken stories of strong women from history and myth and used them as a form of antidote to the belittling, toxic and hurtful comments I grew up with. Traditionally myths, histories and all the best stories have been a means of communicating deep truths about human existence. Many of these tend to be cautionary tales such as: beware of candy houses in the forest. The stories I find most appealing, however, are those about overcoming obstacles through courage, tenacity, and a willingness to look beyond the obvious. To me, these are the type of tales that form a thread of ideas with the power to inspire me to move forward. When I was young, I was often told things like, “Girls can’t do that.” Instead of allowing such stifling comments stop me, I’d study historical examples as a form of psychic Band-Aid for the hurt. Looking at the accomplishments of women like Amelia Earhart or Nellie Bly, I’d think, “Wait a minute. They didn’t let being female stop them from flying an airplane or writing exposes.” As I watch the growing momentum of the #MeToo phenomena lift veils of silence, I am awed by the power of the simple but brave act of telling one’s story. The more often these stories are revealed, the stronger the fabric of truth.

Artist Bio

Mari's academic background is in painting, art history, and humanities.Those subjects often weave their way into her work and enable her to explore her subjects from multiple perspectives. She enjoys finding unusual connections through her research to challenge the reader. Many of her resource sources come from mythology, folk tales and archaeology.