Beauty in the Broken #metoo
This installation is about hope and healing, focusing on female victims of various types of sexual assault. Focusing on them not only as survivors but as empowered women who’ve reclaimed ownership of their lives and bodies.*
I’ve combined my established medium of sculpted sacred hearts with the Japanese art of Kintsugi (repairing broken items with gold) to express the beauty in the broken: Scars are a part of our history to be honored, not hidden. After sculpting, the hearts are broken, and then repaired and painted with real gold.
The repaired hearts are hung in front of black and white photographs of women as the focal point, expressing strength and beauty. These photographs give context and weight to the hearts, integrating the idea of our healing/healed hearts into the reality of everyday existence. Grounding the hashtag #metoo in actual women.
The twenty-five women who participated in this piece are strong, empowered, fierce examples of womankind. They’ve reclaimed their bodies, their voices, and their lives after having been robbed of their freedom, trust, and safety. In posing for their portraits, they’ve engaged in an act of vulnerability as an act of power, an act of defiance to the silence, and an act of love for themselves. A testament illustrating they shine even more brightly after putting their heart back together. They are a voice telling women still struggling with issues surrounding sexual assault: We believe you, and that this doesn’t define you. While it may live in the forefront of your heart and mind right now, it won’t always. You are stronger than you know.
A personal note: As I was embarking on this project, I received a text message that a young acquaintance, a daughter of a dear friend, had been raped in her dorm room. This is for you, kk. You, too, are stronger than you know.
A partial exhibit was shown at my venue, The Bitter End Coffeehouse, due to difficulties in procuring an ArtPrize venue with enough space. It was an unexpectedly perfect space for this piece. I am grateful to the owners, Karisa and John, for giving my entry a home.
Not to be deterred, I decided to show the piece in its entirety, no matter what. So, all 25 portraits and their hearts were displayed at The Nomad Gallery by Richard App. Nearly 20ft. of space made a striking backdrop for the portraits.
I am and have been blown away by all of the love and support I’ve received both personally and for my ArtPrize piece, I am so grateful to all of you. I feel profoundly honored by the participating women who’ve trusted my vision to honor their experiences.
*People of all genders are victims of sexual assault, but I have chosen to focus on women for this piece.