Manitoba Arts Council
Deep Bay Residency July 2014
I created work for Consequence of Experience a series of rubbings reflecting on my experience as a child growing up in the Congo during political unstable times.
I rubbed the image of a replica for my childhood dress hidden underneath the rag paper. I was guided by my emotional response to memory and my rereading of various accounts written by all the players involved in the 1964 Simba Rebellion in the Congo.
At times I rubbed gently to transfer vague, translucent, fragile impressions, while at other times I pressed hard creating bold angst laden marks reflective of the nature of my experience of belonging which sometimes feels bold and unmistakable and other times vague and doubtful.
The text from my childhood letters written to my grandparents integrated with the rubbing of the hidden dress was like memory which can fragment, fade, rip and unravel leaving gapping holes.
The rubbed marks of the dress feel like two identities, one that is shown to the world and the other hidden behind. The body hides, holds and remembers tragic experience while getting on with daily life.
While working on the rubbings for Consequence of Experience the weather warmed up and an explosion of mosquitos took place. I realized as the days went by that the numerous mosquito population turned me into an aggressor. I focused my aggression on this perceived enemy which I trapped, swatted, stalked and squashed deliberately ending life. I indiscriminately squashed big ones, little ones, medium ones,males, females, young and old. All mosquitos became the enemy whether they had any intention to harm me by sucking my blood or not. I attached their bodies to scotch tape adding my trophies to my sketch book which in an odd way was reminiscent of Krutz in the Heart of Darkness. I noticed I was mirroring the use of fear to vilify and turn the other into the enemy justifying the practice of eliminating individuals out of a ‘I will get them first before they get me mentality’. There may be another series of works come out of the battle with these blood thirsty insects.