With collaboration from: Xavier Henry, H Ware, Nika Lincoln, Fay Davis, Shauna Thompson, Jasmine Cousins, Amy Trudgeon, Darcey Vallery, John Giardina, Lindsey Giardina, Matheus Francalacci, Nicolas Huskey, Christian Borges and anonymous interviewees and online respondents from the UK/USA and Europe.
Throughout 2021 and 2022, in the wake of #metoo and run up to Roe v Wade overturning in the USA, true stories, given as anonymous interviews on the topic of sexual assault form the bases of an artwork that behaves as audio, films, images and texts.
The audio is recorded using actors and names have been altered for anonymity. The gender identity, race and class of the interviewees giving their testimonies is matched as accurately as possible with actors. It is encouraged that the age, gender, race and socio-economic background of the participants not be assumed.
I painted whilst listening to the audio interviews of perpetrators and victims of assault. As I absorbed the pain and guilt of the perpetrators, I saw that the artwork became mouldy looking.
Words from the interviews filtered into it ‘something left in the dark will just get mouldier and mouldier’. The paint bled through both sides. The shape and beauty on one side becomes disorder on the other. I flipped the piece over repeatedly, cleaning up one mess whilst creating another, folding and unfolding it to add to the overall structure. Trauma became integral to the work.
I focused on the strength of the survivors and the hope for change in the perpetrators, pulling and pushing the colours of the piece for joy and space. ‘I am strong now, I’m very driven’. These are the words of one interviewee. A perpetrator: ‘I can’t believe that was me’.
The final result sits in-between spaces, double sided, chaotic, balanced. The redacted interviews of perpetrators and victims form part of the structure itself.