Final drawing: “Silenced”
22″ x 15″
Pencil on paper
A change is coming. Finally.
I’ve been thinking about how to best articulate the message of my artwork in written form. However, I recently came across an article in “The Guardian” by Rebecca Solnit that truly encapsulates the message that I’ve tried to weave into this artwork. Here are a few snippets: “Being unable to tell your story is a living death, and sometimes a literal one. If no one listens when you say your ex-husband is trying to kill you, if no one believes you when you say you are in pain, if no one hears you when you say help, if you don’t dare say help, if you have been trained not to bother people by saying help. If you are considered to be out of line when you speak up in a meeting, are not admitted into an institution of power, are subject to irrelevant criticism whose subtext is that women should not be here or heard.
Silence is what allowed predators to rampage through the decades unchecked. It’s as though the voices of these prominent public men devoured the voices of others into nothingness, a narrative cannibalism. They rendered them voiceless to refuse and afflicted with unbelievable stories. Unbelievable means those with power did not want to know, to hear, to believe, did not want them to have voices. People died from being unheard.
If the right to speak, if having credibility, if being heard is a kind of wealth, that wealth is now being redistributed. There has long been an elite with audibility and credibility, and an underclass of the voiceless.
As the wealth is redistributed, the stunned incomprehension of the elites erupts over and over again, a fury and disbelief that this woman or child dared to speak up, that people deigned to believe her, that her voice counts for something, that her truth may end a powerful man’s reign. These voices, heard, upend power relations.” The power shift is here. It’s happening now. For too long woman have been silenced, but that’s changing.
They’re tearing the tape from their mouth to sing in a new, more powerful collective voice.
And we’re finally hearing a beautiful song that’s been long overdue.