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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Buzzing Flies: An Incest Purge

pictured in front of a white background, the torso of a mannequin with no arms is painted with dark brown acrylic paint and has a black paper mache afro. locates on the stomach of the mannequin is a large hairy terracotta vulva with white discharge that is surrounded by flies.
Buzzing Flies: An Incest Purge
Medium: Acrylic,terracotta and papier-mache on fibreglass

Content warning: Incest, sexual violence, healing!

Last year was my chrysalis year. Moving into 2016 I felt like a caterpillar, and I kept asking myself if a caterpillar knew, upon creating its chrysalis, what it would emerge as. I had mentioned before that my mental health was a mess. I was shaken to a point where my body, spirit and mind no longer had the capacity to hold onto all of the things I had suppressed within my being, particularly around incest and sexual violence. Moving through/with my cocooning process (marked by lots of crying, confusion, anguish, fear and anger) I made the decision to transmute the energy of shame I was carrying about my experiences into art. It was (and still is) my purging process.

This multi-medium sculpture is a slow descent into madness and a projection of incest. It holds decades of incessant buzzing flies; an internal rotting ensues delusion, repression, anxiety and depression from internalizing shame, disgust, anger, guilt, blame and fear. It is the reality of longing to let go, but the fucked up experience of finding comfort in the familiarity of trauma. Nursing its existence silently out of routine.

It is simultaneously a call to exhale. To sculpt and recreate the possibilities of my existence beyond the limitations of traumatic experiences. Enacting personal power by taking responsibility of my process of becoming, and cultivating a path of love from lessons of pain.

I made this piece for Nuit Rose: A Festival of Queer Art and Performance for Toronto Pride 2016.

two people varying in race and gender are bent down looking at the scuplture
Photo by: Tanya Turton