Through the process of making things, I want to open a door
for those who have no voice and allow them a place to speak.
Childhood trauma and abuse are dependent on silence and secrets
to continue. My visual language speaks of the unspeakable
while at the same time gives a sense of hope and healing to
the viewer. Patriarchal constructs allow the silence that supports
abuse. Metaphors about acceptable behavior in our society demonstrate
the requirements for silence: silence is golden,
children should be seen and not heard, see
no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, and if you
dont have anything good to say dont
say it at all are a few examples. This subject matter
in the gallery space gives the stories a different status and
allows them to be confronted in a different context. This is
a form of social protest that poses a public question of the
problem. Perhaps some prevention will occur from greater awareness.
The use of personal stories builds the content and addresses
the concerns I have about our society through human experience.
I lived in that space of silence for many years. There is a
taboo against talking about incest and child abuse in our society,
but not as strong a taboo about it actually happening. This
avoidance of making public what is actually occurring is one
of the mechanisms that allow the abuse to continue. Through
the use of personal stories in this work, the viewing of the
"secret" will allow a change in the viewers
beliefs and understanding. I have lived the secret, kept silent
for many years and will no longer continue to do so. Public
awareness could encroach on the consciousness of the individual
viewer and eventually have an effect on societal norms.
I chose art as the vehicle to tell this story for the emotional
and intellectual impact that occurs when a person experiences
art. Ceramics is a medium that was used by many in childhood.
It can be sophisticated, childish, and all points in between.
This can appeal to the adult in the viewer as well as the childhood
memories we all have.