I have been on a journey over the last year seeking to make my art have an impact on social issues, especially injustices like oppression and slavery. I see the malady and how it impacts the society as a whole, but the impact that these situations have on the individual is so long lasting.
I posted this on twitter at the end of my art class yesterday, “Emotionally exhausted from my art class. Drawing from memory is not the same thing as drawing memories.”
Oh, these memories, how they affect me still. This particular sketch is a memory that shaped my self worth (or lack there of) for most of my life. Looking back I know that my extended family would have and did do everything they could to help my little fractured family. On this day my siblings and I were being separated into the homes of the brothers and sisters of my father who was being incarcerated.
I remember sitting on a trunk full of my things, interpreting their arguments as a sign that they didn’t want to take me, the youngest, due to my inability to add value to any particular household. I was a complete liability and not only worthless, but a burden.
As you and I reach out to the hurting people around us, as we endeavor to rescue people from abuse, injustice and neglect, let’s be mindful of the emotional wounds that these people carry. Some are externally visible, gashes that bleed profusely and scream for attention. Others are not so visible, internal wounds that cripple and destroy from witihn.