This is the story of Catherine Daniel’s childhood trauma and sexual abuse kept secret for years. It wasn’t until she was nearly 50 that she realised her secrets made her unwell. After her mother died, she decided to learn to write. That first meeting with author, Joan Rosier-Jones, changed her life forever. She started to unfold the layers of her history through words, many of them in metaphorical form. She joined a writers’ group which supported her in her journey through the complexities of understanding her own mental-health issues. One day she couldn’t write, so decided to make a sculpture to portray what she couldn’t say in words. That day The Secret Keeper was born. By creating these sculptures and metaphors, she slowly unfolded her past in a way she was able to control. Each of the forty sculptures tells their own story. Through her works, Catherine Daniels hopes to start the important conversations needed to help others navigate their own journeys of healing through childhood trauma, parental neglect, sexual abuse and mental health issues.
The Royal Commission of Enquiry into Historical Abuse in Care
**Trigger Warning/ Content Warning** Confronting artwork and sculptures.“If we don't start speaking out about this and making changes it’s going to carry on.”Survivor and artist Catherine Daniels will share her experience of abuse in care through her art at the upcoming public hearing. In the four-minute video, The Secret Keeper, Catherine shows pieces of her art and reads pieces of her writing. She shares the impacts of abuse on her life and calls for change to stop abuse from happening to more children.Catherine experiences debilitating mental distress brought on by abuse she endured, some while in care. She uses art, sculpture and writing to express her feelings and emotions about her childhood trauma, including through a recent exhibition. Catherine never knew how to express the deep trauma she experiences until she began writing and sculpting her art.