My Own Witness: Rupture and Repair - Statement
Pigment print on museum-quality cotton rag paper, gold rice paper, gold thread; 13" x 19"; Unique
My Own Witness: Rupture and Repair
When the pandemic began, I had to close my portrait studio. Racial injustices rose to the front of our collective consciousness, our political systems teetered on the edge of a failure of democracy, and long-ignored cracks broke into ruptures. It felt as though my brain was exploding and my heart was tearing apart. One day, overwhelmed by the turbulence and in a fit of emotion, I ripped a portrait. And then another. In my destruction, I had given expression to the personal pain and societal wounds I saw around me. Then, inspired by the Japanese practice of Kintsugi – which repairs broken pottery with gold lacquer to highlight scars rather than disguise them – I restored the torn portraits using gold rice paper and thread. The results call attention to the area of repair; they tell us to remember and learn from our violent histories rather than ignore or hide them, underscoring the importance of mending our fractured relationships with ourselves and with each other.