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Resilience Open Access


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Thera, Becky
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The intent of my research is to engage in a conversation about the complexities of sexual violence, related trauma and patriarchal systems. My research is conducted through artistic creation, as it has the capacity to address this complicated social issue with humanity and emotion. This image is a self-portrait, holding a delicate piece of chiffon material that I have marked with ink and embroidery. Through photographing the object, it creates an unsettling relationship with my body underneath. The use of my own body is significant as I am a rape survivor and much of my research begins with personal experience and emotion. By embroidering my great-grandmother’s patterns onto the material, the image indicates a history of sexual violence and oppression. Juxtaposing the violence of the ink drawing, the embroidery implies an ethics of care and the maternal. The material removes my gaze from the image as an act of taking back personal power. It is a gesture of resilience and defiance. Although this work is inspired by personal experience, trauma and oppression are shared experiences for the majority of women. Through this research a space for women’s voices is created, which is necessary to change our patriarchal culture of violence. // Program of Study: Master of Fine Arts // Faculty/Department: Arts // Place of Creation: University of Alberta // Award: Semi-finalist
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