The first appearance of these images was as temporary outdoor photographic installation consisting of five black and white photographic and glass etched panels each 36" x 50" approximately installed in earth mounds in the ground at the Old Market Square under the auspices of Light Year: A Festival of Photographies sponsored by the Floating Gallery: Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In both the first and second versions text accompanied the images. In the first instance the text was sandblasted onto tempered glass plates which were installed over top of the black and white photographic images laid into the ground.
who controls the silence?
somehow I learned to
separate the experience
from the feeling * this way
I wouldn't be present
when the bad stuff
I'm still trying to put
myself back together
living with the memories * the
terror * guilt * shame * pain * hurt
ever present (even if they
now say they're sorry)
what truths must I tell my children?
when I was little, my father told me
that each person is given a certain
number of words to use during their
life. when the words are used up, the
person dies. I remember counting each
word I spoke, afraid I would die young.
I promised I wouldn't do that to my daughter
Four years later I revisited the work and created a set of five postcards as part of my involvement with Public Art as Social Intervention: But now I have to speak - Testimonies of trauma, resilience, and change. This was a three part project which I initiated and co-organized with Dr. Lauren Lerner and p.k. Langshaw which included a symposium, a series of artistic interventions unveilingsand exhibitions and a website. Black and white photographic images of my children's backs are reproduced on the front of the card. On the top left hand corner of reverse side are short phrases referring to the relationship between back pain and the cycle of family violence, in particular child abuse, as a consequence of cultural and ethnic traumas. The work is intended to be as much a testimony, a verbal and visual action of resistance, as an intervention in the repetitious cycle -- not merely a witness to child abuse as a consequence of cultural oppression, but a participant in its cessation.