Living in a patriarchal society, women are perceived as objects that are inferior to men, and we are constantly reminded of this through the media and countless acts of violence we have experienced, historically and currently. I learned at a young age that I was physically weaker, vulnerable, and needed to be aware of my surroundings. Like many other women around the world, I have faced sexual violence, discrimination, and harassment.My body never felt like it truly belonged to me, but instead to the men around me. To satisfy the male gaze, I prioritized my appearance over everything else to be considered an acceptable, and desirable woman.
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I grew up with a sense of shame that resulted in me suppressing my emotions, hiding them from the world. Through this work, I bring awareness to sexual assault and the lifelong impacts survivors face. Using paint as a way to depict my personal experiences and recovery, my work explores what it means to be a modern woman by focusing on themes of sexual violence, growth, empowerment, and mental health.
Recreating my childhood bedroom, where many of the attacks took place, this installation emphasizes the importance of our relationships to significant spaces. My paintings substitute the posters and pictures typically seen in an adolescent’s bedroom and are displayed salon-style to simulate that environment. Each canvas tells a different story related to my trauma of sexual abuse, creating a platform where I no longer have to remain silent. With this space, I reclaim my bedroom as the womb of warmth, comfort, and safety it should have been.