It Tickles


I often think of vulnerability and innocence as interchangeable concepts; we can’t really allow ourselves to be the first without also becoming the latter. When we open ourselves up to other beings, when we are pouring our melted selves onto others, we believe (or convince ourselves) that we can trust and let go. 

Touch is revolutionary. Contact, physical connection- groundbreaking. To allow ourselves- both mentally and physically- to be touched by a stranger, and to know that we won’t be hurt; in fact, to hope that we will be healed and cared for is a beautiful and courageous thing. Asking to be touched is brave. 

I also believe that being innocent and being childish go hand in hand, and an even better way of reminding ourselves of our innocence and child-like vulnerability is (I firmly believe) through tickles. 

I came up with the idea for this lino cut right after being tickled. This image, which represents how my ribcage feels when tickled, is also a reminder of my need to connect, to open up, to be trusting, a reminder that I live bodily and am embedded in my sensations. The process was an exploration of the paradox of vulnerability: to be open for wounding and caring simultaneously. Here is a part of my body that is very exposed in its purest, most innocent form.

Renata Del Riego