The work in this exhibition was created in correlation with Take Back the Night on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. My intention was to use art as a tool to communicate strength and, as the title Never Silent suggests, to inspire the audience to speak out. These works address the subject of generational trauma and incorporate the accounts of people, along with specific themes revolving around empowerment and self-reflection. Inspired in part by the Seventh Generation Philosophy of the Iroquois, this exhibition talks about the need to recognize and learn from the related struggles within our families and to understand that the decisions we make today will affect our family for generations to come. The importance of this idea comes from knowing that if a family member didn’t heal from something they suffered, then that hurt will be passed on to the next generation. This cycle of hurt will then continue to be passed on until someone within the family addresses it and begins the healing process. I was introduced to this philosophy by a woman whose own Oneida/Iroquois heritage taught her that “my inaction will result in exponential hurt for future generations”. A thought that was further emphasized when she stated, “what you don't transform, you will transmit”.
The artworks from this exhibition were donated to the people and organizations who shared their stories
(2015 - 2016)
Finding a voice is something I have always looked for in my work. With the artwork in this series, finding a voice took on a new meaning for me as I attempted to convey the written stories of women who experienced the trauma of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
This work is part of an annual exhibition, starting in 2015, that correlates with Take Back the Night on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. With that in mind, I wanted to use art as a tool to communicate strength and emotion in order to inspire the audience to action. These works incorporate the accounts of women with specific moments of empowerment to give the survivors a semblance of identity to go along with their voices. With a focus on determination and advocacy, I looked to present the audience with complicated yet specific stories that rely on the visual for full impact.
I believe the success of each artwork from this series ultimately depends upon social interaction, as they speak to firsthand accounts and their intended outcome is to break down the barriers to communication. The voices represented within them are meant to be varied and not just heard, but seen. In this case, I wanted use the visual to provide a much needed counterpoint to statistics and facts.
With this work, I looked to give a new voice to each individual story, hence utilizing the visual to communicate the unspoken and to give strength to those who are silent but wish to speak out.
The artworks from these exhibitions were donated to the people and organizations who shared their stories.