BFA Thesis Exhibition, Metropolitan State University of Denver | Opening April 2020
In order to bring attention to the painful narratives of interpersonal violence, Bleeding Heartintegrates flowers, patterns, text, and thread into a façade that veils and reveals ugly memories of personal and familial trauma. This work brings together different artifacts and images from an individual's experience to give a sense of tangibility to the ways in which emotional, physical, and sexual abuse can take form in an intimate relationship. Each drawing is used as a platform to illustrate some of the consequences of interpersonal violence at the personal and social level. The diverse forms of storytelling vary in different cultures, but they often have the common goals of sharing experience, knowledge, or warnings with the surrounding community. Bleeding Heart combines the traditional craft mediums of sewing and crochet with the therapeutic practice of visual journaling to acknowledge some of the different ways that experiences can be shared. The crocheted chains that surround the drawings act as a curtain, another level of façade that cushions violent memories. However, the different colors, textures, and thickness within the thread also serve as a reminder of the way that trauma varies from person to person. The knots within the thread have been tied to represent the twenty people per minute that are physically harmed by an intimate partner in the United States, making visible the frequency at which abuse occurs. Interpersonal violence takes many forms, with varying levels of severity. It affects people from all backgrounds; however, it is often disproportionately gendered, affecting women, the lower class, and those outside of the white, heteronormative ideals more frequently. Sharing stories and memories of interpersonal violence is an extremely complicated and intimate process, one that has not generally been encouraged. However, people can begin to heal and help expose how abuse occurs through the process of communicating these difficult experiences, whether it be to one's self, a loved one, or the community. Bleeding Heart is a body of work that provides a visual representation of painful memories of trauma, representing a story from the point of view of an individual. The creation of this work was a process of reflection and healing, and it seeks to raise awareness of the ways in which abuse can have an effect on the individual, family, and community.