Stepping Out of Trauma
As a visual and conceptual artist, I have been drawn towards exploring the impacts of trauma related to sexual assault and the healing process on an individual and social level. The installation project, Stepping Out of Trauma, is about creating a space in which viewers can examine their own experiences with trauma, of any nature, and how those traumatic memories impact their lives and the lives of others. Through the use of sculpture, audio, and projection mapping, the viewer is guided to reflect on their own experiences. The materials used in the current exhibition include high impact styrene, which were vacuum formed, filled with polyurethane foam, and painted for the creation of the chalice and the river, which also features real flowing water. Projection mapping was used to create digital animations of footsteps, which step out of the water and through the gallery to represent the liberation of individuals who have made the choice to begin the journey towards healing.
The conceptual themes that underpin this work are trauma related to sexual assault and the importance of the healing process for survivors. At the same time, the work in the current exhibition speaks to a more generalized experience of traumatic memories, not just those related to sexual assault. To empathize and provide support as survivors seek to heal from trauma related to sexual assault, individuals must choose how they will deal with their own painful or uncomfortable memories. Stepping Out of Trauma incorporates trauma and feminist theory to provide a safe space for viewers to reflect on their own trauma, and to recognize that they have the ability to make the conscious choice to uncouple from it.