This is what Kate Khoury created on RelevantNow...
Woolwich arachnophobe confronts a hairy issue using stained glass 'therapy'.
I am writing to you to let you know about an arachnophobic artist from Woolwich, South East London, who has addressed her phobia in stained glass.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want more information - and could you possibly let me know if you plan to use this story. More details below.
Woolwich arachnophobe Kate Khoury has turned to stained glass to address her fear of the common house spider.
The result, "It's probably more afraid of you.", is Kate's third work in stained glass and it depicts a 90:1(≈) scaled up version of the female of the species, t.domestica, poised, in wait, in her funnel web. (panel size 1430mm x 1110mm). "About a hundred times bigger! Yep, that's how large they feel when they're coming at me!" Kate says, laughing. “I fell through a loft floor once my reaction was so bad!”.
Anticipating the current spider infested season, she says she thought a lot about her irrational fear and has come to the conclusion that, in a sense, it's a way of avoiding ever completely growing up. “While I'm petrified of spiders, I'll always be dependent on other people getting rid of them for me."
Thinking it could be a fun way to try and 'treat' herself, whilst evaluating, in real terms, the therapeutic merits of her artistic process, she got to confronting the hairy subject using methods traditional to stained glass and an approach akin to exposure therapy (for treating phobias) and started to work on desensitizing herself. “Glass is a compelling material in itself; working with light is exciting and therapeutic, and this made confronting my phobia a much more appealing prospect.”
Has it worked? “It definitely has helped, yes. I wouldn't say I'm cured yet, but I've really come a long way. Abject horror and disgust have given way to a real appreciation and a sense of what is beautiful and intriguing about spiders.”
Kate, who grew up in the South East of London, says her window is actually designed to be approached from afar because she has always imagined the spider nestled by its funnel in the corner of a fully glazed 'web' wall, as we, its potential dinner look on. "I think that would be something great to experience."
This is what they had to say about RelevantNow:
RelevantNow has afforded me a great opportunity by allowing me to start getting to grips with a side of making art, ie publicity, which can be all too tempting for many artists to shy away from, even when it is essentially their lifeblood!
- Kate Khoury
Distributed by RelevantNow to 239 media. Read online by 266 people including emails, social media and the web.
And this is some of the coverage they received:
Kate Khoury, from Second Floor Studio and Arts in Harrington Way has addressed her phobia by creating some works of art which blow up and illuminate the subject of her fears...