“The Art of Self-Defense” is the subtitle for “Breaking The Intimidation Game”. This double entendre word play refers to the social commentary art of internationally acclaimed artist Nancy Worthington, M.F.A., who created the cover art “Game Pieces” and whose unique and social commentary artworks appear as ten color faceplates at the beginning of each chapter to enhance and illuminate the text. “Breaking The Intimidation Game-The Art of Self-Defense” is Dr. Judith Fein’s fourth book on self-defense. Judith Fein and Nancy Worthington have collaborated to make this book a unique journey of transformation into self-esteem and personal power.
“Game Pieces” is a compilation/collage of pieces of artworks that appear in the chapters as colorplates. The Cover “Game Pieces” (© Nancy Worthington, 2010. Mixed-media collage, 12″h x 9″w) The images chosen represent facets of the psychological concepts of the intimidation game—vulnerability, fear, strength and power. Images are at once playful and serious. The colors are bold and strongly contrasting as are the concepts of victim and resister described in this book.
AN OVERVIEW—Taking The First Step
“Mirror Mirror On The Wall,
Where’s The Beauty In Us All?”
© Nancy Worthington, 1972. Mixed-media Assemblage (84″h x 42″w x 12″d)
The title, taken from the fairy tale Snow White, expresses a traditional role of females in our society, i.e., the preoccupation with fleeting outward appearance and being trapped by external looks. “Mirror Mirror On The Wall…” encourages women to look inward,
to take the first step (as depicted by the steps in the mirror) to move in the direction of finding the internal strength (as seen in the puzzle face) and the ability to become powerful and self-reliant, not just a pretty face.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-DEFENSE—
The Intimidation Game
© Nancy Worthington, 1977. Mixed-media Interactive Construction/
Assemblage (78″h x 52″w x 30″d)
The sculpture “Change” explores the interaction of people with the psychological games of the society. The pie-shaped wedges on the front of the sculpture “Change” contain words which generate free and random associations within each viewer’s life. Visual images of fear and pain are juxtaposed with more comically absurd elements. Change signals opportunities for growth. The viewer is invited to stand on the back of the “Change” sculpture and while placing one’s feet over the “footnotes” and one’s hands over the hands on the sculpture (palms facing the sculpture) contemplate the concept of positive change in one’s own life.
SUCCESS STORIES—“If She Can Do It – So Can I”
“Acceptance and Rebellion”
© Nancy Worthington, 1976. Hand-colored Lithograph (24″h x 18″w) “Acceptance and Rebellion” is part of a series of three Limited Edition hand-colored lithographic prints. Worthington states, “As an attitude toward life, acceptance may bring harmony and accord, but in rebellion one finds personal strength and conviction. Does not the unconventional mind give birth to freedom of the spirit?” In this artwork, images are released from the subconcious and brought to awareness as symbolic projections. The imagery in “Acceptance and Rebellion” relates to the ambiguity of the human condition and the contradictions, dualities or polarities of our social and psychological situations.
STREETWISE AND BODY SAFE—
Keeping Your Personal Power On The Streets
“Nimble, Jack B.”
© Nancy Worthington, 1984. Mixed-media Wall Relief (20″h x 16″w)
“Nimble, Jack B.” is one of seven wall relief pieces in the “Mother Goose Series.” The Jack B. Nimble character, for this chapter, represents the agility and awareness necessary to jump out of harm’s way. Again, as in the artwork for Chapter Three, the images are subconscious, yet representational.
RESEARCH INTO RAPE AVOIDANCE AND DEFENSE—
With Practical Applications
© Nancy Worthington, 1976. Mixed-media Wall Relief (45″h x 38”w x 24″d)
This artwork portrays rape with vividness of detail, depicting the structure of our society in which men are conditioned to become the aggressors and women the victims. “Every social order produces in the masses of its members that structure which it needs to achieve its main aim,” William Reich. “Reich’s Bullseye” is in the Permanent Collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
“COME INTO MY PARLOR” SAID THE SPIDER TO THE FLY—
Defense Against Known Assailants
“Come Into My Parlor” Said The Spider To The Fly
© Nancy Worthington, 2008. Mixed-media Kinetic Construction (72″h x 32″w x 23″d)
Loosely based on the early 19th Century poem by Mary Howitt, called “The Spider and the Fly”, the artwork explores different manifestations of entrapment, flattery, and human behavior. Viewer participation enhances emotional interaction with the artwork; the viewer is enticed to push a button, or pull open a drawer, being drawn in and caught by the interactive sculpture
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION
“Le Reveil De La Femme Fatale Lavande”
© Nancy Worthington, 1976. Mixed-media Assemblage/Construction
(80″h x 28″w x 34″d)
This sculpture explores the vulnerabilities and strengths of being a woman, in the context of marriage and divorce, and acceptance and non-acceptance of traditional roles. The word, le reveil, the awakening, refers to self-realization. The top third of the artwork focuses on the accepted traditional role of women: marriage (i.e. the bridal veil), passivity, and controlled behavior. The bottom two thirds reveal the strength that it takes to break from the traditional mold along with the emotional trauma accompanying this change.
BASIC PHYSICAL DEFENSE AND INTIMIDATION SKILLS—
How To Fight Back And Win
© Nancy Worthington, 1974. Colored Pen and Ink Drawing (30″h x 24″w)
“Cinderella Liberty” is from the series, “Cycle of Female Rights and Rites”, created in the 1970s during the height of the second wave of the feminist movement. “Cinderella Liberty” was used as the cover artwork for Judith Fein’s book, Exploding The Myth of Self-Defense. The bold colors and strong imagery depict a Wonder Woman-like figure rising out of the ashes of the patriarchy
YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY
“The Age of Anxiety”
© Nancy Worthington, 1982. Mixed-media Illuminated with Sound Kinetic
Construction/Assemblage (75″h x 91″w x 54″d)
“Who needs full color when real life is so black and white?” Is reality black and white, or something in between—all gray. This is indeed the age of anxiety—a stress producing technological society. There is anxiety over security and communication, and anxiety over the very theft of our identities. This is an interactive machinelike construction which involves the viewer in her/his own set of responses to technology and the apprehension of danger.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER—
Breaking The Intimidation Game
FIGURE 10.1 “Women Triumphant”
© Nancy Worthington, 1996. Pen, Ink and Colored Pen Drawing (12”h x 9”w)
“Women Triumphant” was created specifically for the cover of Judith Fein’s book, How To Fight Back and Win. Victorious women, who have conquered their societal and internal demons (shown at the top of the image in dark green), are revealed with a mix of an accomplished smile, pumped fist, and blaring trumpets of women celebrating the joy of self-defense.