3rd Year, Major in Print Media
4.5″ x 6″
Ink on rag paper and ribbon
As a third-year undergraduate student in Print Media, I create work that focuses on creating a dialogue between my lived experiences and those of the viewers through imagery, printed objects, installation, and text. I attempt to bridge the gap between the innately individual and the universal; connecting viewer and artist through shared vulnerability. My art practice expands upon the traditional understanding of self portraiture; often an attempt to exorcise the shame associated with public expressions of this vulnerability. In my artist book, Bound, I explore themes of privacy, intimacy, and abuse through three-line poems accompanied by digitally painted imagery. I represent myself in depictions which loosely and directly represent my form.
Abstract and semi-legible forms, landscapes, and symbols create a shared visual language in my work. As form, text, colour, and texture overlap and intersect in this piece, I orchestrate an overarching mood within the work that extends beyond it as well. The poems and images in this installation aim to evoke memories and intense emotions: loneliness, rage; mourning of sorts. Although the specific topics remain a mystery to the viewer, a shared sense of vulnerability is created through the book format of the piece. Inviting the viewer to gently untie the ribbon, the book’s only form of ‘binding’, the connection of physical touch and proximity underline the work on each page.
Spreading out the double-sided pages containing one side with text, the other side with a painting, the viewer creates and re-creates the layout of the work with each interaction. As each image and text coincide on the viewing surface, connections are made and broken. The overall focus shifts from “me” to “us.” The interaction recalls themes of communication, community, and kinship. Guiding and prompting viewers in a questioning of their own relationship with difficult emotions, the work aims to disrupt, challenge, and undermine the toxic and oppressive tropes surrounding all forms of emotional expression within the public eye and private and personal spheres.
By creating shared space through installation pieces, intimacy through book arts, and offering windows into my life through printed, assembled, drawn, and painted objects, my art practice sets a stage for this difficult conversation. Delving into multiple, intersecting oppressive forces of racism, colourism, sexism, and ableism that I face, I underline the power of remaining soft under these pressures.