Words from the Otherworld: Frida Kahlo and living with your heart on the outside
Frida Kahlo has been a hero of mine ever since I was a young child. My earliest memory of her is when I was about four. I found a book of Frida’s work in my mother’s bookcase. As I opened up to the vivid colours and passionate images of Frida’s world I felt a sense of homecoming. I took the book and hid it away under my bed where I would hide and stare at the images for hours, wondering what it would be like to live inside those colours and, if indeed, I could live with my heart on the outside?
I have always gone back to Frida for inspiration because let’s face it, as an artist she has one of the most inspiriting stories out there. A tale of deep passion, pain, struggle and triumph. She stood up for what she believed in, fought against all odds, loved deeply and passionately and never, ever stopped creating. Since going through my own trials of both the heart and body Frida has become an even greater source of inspiration. Whenever I have a bad pain day or just feel generally down I look towards Frida and just think – ‘Frida did it. Frida kept going no matter the odds. Frida fought to live a full and vibrant life no matter what. Even when she was bed bound she didn’t let that stop her. She lived a meaningful and brilliant life no matter what. So you have no excuse to stop either.’ As the saying often goes, you’re only a failure if you stop. Frida helps me keep going.
Frida also taught me the importance of love. While she didn’t exactly have a fairytale romance, she had something better. She loved fiercely and passionately. She loved with wild abandon. She gave her all whilst never losing herself or her art. In my eyes, I think this ability to love with wild abandon is a huge source of freedom, courage and strength. Love itself is a creative and magical act. When I was young I wanted to live and love with the same ferociousness as Frida. And now, I want to write that kind of love. I just hope one day I get to see Frida’s paintings and letters in person. I have no doubt her words would literally jump off the page and demand all my attention and devotion. I have given you a few examples here of her artworks, look at how personal, powerful and vulnerable they are? Imagine what her private love letters would be like? I imagine a thousand bombs going off inside my chest. (See link for more details of the letters that have just been revealed for sale.)