Beauty in the Broken #metoo
For this piece, I’ve combined my established medium of sculpted sacred hearts with the Japanese art of Kintsugi (repairing broken items with gold) in order to express the beauty in the broken: Scars are a part of our history to be honored, not hidden. After sculpting, the hearts are first broken, and then they 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. The photographs give context and weight to the hung hearts by integrating the idea of our healing/healed hearts into the reality of our everyday existence, while also grounding the hashtag #metoo in actual women.
The twenty-five women participating in this piece are strong, empowered, fierce examples of womankind. They have reclaimed their bodies, their voices, and their lives after having been robbed of their freedom, trust, safety, and innocence. 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. They are a testament that shows that they can shine even more brightly once their hearts have been put back together. They are a voice to tell women who are still struggling with issues surrounding sexual assault that 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.
Due to difficulties in procuring an ArtPrize venue with a large enough space to house the piece in it’s entirety, I made the decision to show a partial exhibit at my venue, The Bitter End Coffeehouse. It has been an unexpectedly perfect space for this piece, and I am grateful to the owners for giving my entry a home.
However, not to be deterred, I made the decision that I would show the piece in it’s entirety, no matter what. So, all 25 portraits and their hearts are on display at The Nomad Gallery by Richard App. The nearly 20ft. makes a striking backdrop for the portraits. There will be events there as well.
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 for all of you. I feel profoundly honored by the (participating )women who have trusted me to make something that honors their experiences, as well as by the women who have been affected by it. I’m overwhelmed by the number of women who have deep reactions to the piece. Thank you
*People of all genders are victims of sexual assault, but I have chosen to focus on women for this piece.