I sit with my smoke drawings and do a phenomenological description of the one above.
On a rectangular piece of white paper there is a bright red piece of torn tissue paper stuck in the middle. It has torn edges with the hair like edges of the tear forming a textured hair-like boundary The red shape is a couple of inches long and about an inch wide. It has a flattish top and bottom. It is placed on a diagonal angle on the vertical of the rectangular piece of paper. One long edge is a fairly straight edge while the other long edge has an indent and rounded protuberance. The red tissue paper has some small creases where it has caught when being stuck down. At the left hand bottom of the red shape is a creamy brown circular smudge. It has an indistinct boundary it just fades into the surrounds. There is a similar, though smaller and less distinct smudge a bit lower down It is much lighter and is just visible from the background. Higher on the page on the top diagonal edge of the red shape is a dark charcoal grey smudgy shape it is rounded and comes over the top of the red paper. It gradually fades. Covering most of the page are very faint soft grey marks that swirl indistinctly over the page. On the outer edge it is largely unmarked and retains its original white colour. The grey marks do not reach to the outer edges. The red centre is such a strong contrast to the rest of the marks it really leaps out of the page. The rest of the grey marks have a soft delicate feel.
I then bracket in the lived experience of my body following a mastectomy and choose key words, which I then cluster. I then give each cluster or group of words a title.
Cluster 1 – Bright, red, lighter, dark, strong, contrast (Bright red blood creates the visible mark of my pain)
Cluster 2 – torn, tissue, tear, forming creases, marks (Torn tissue forms the tear in my skin)
Cluster 3 – stuck, indistinct, fades, retains, background (My scar fades into the background of my life
Bright red blood creates the visible mark of my pain