This illustrative series was created for the SUNY Oswego 'Clean Slate' exhibition in 2013. The exhibition featured 'Clean Slate Diaries' entries, which are written works by survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, focused on empowering other victims.
The goal was to support the exhibit through a five-piece illustrative series. I wanted to portray the story of abuse without showing living beings or other potential triggers for attendees. I ultimately decided on vandalism as an artistic representation of an abusive situation.
1. A representation of how things initially appear.
2. A startling jump to a very bad situation. There are many things going wrong, and it looks like they have been for some time.
Initially, something big and heavy must have been thrown at the window, but the damage was ignored. It was chalked up as something you could live with. Just try to fix the window when you get to it.
Over time, the whole area is ignored. The lamp left tilted, the books more scattered and falling off the shelf.
Then an overwhelming fire is visible. It's not clear how or when it started.
3. An observation of what's left in the aftermath, and a clear recognition that there's work to be done.
4. The removal of what's left standing. A firefighter once informed me that there are two reasons for this process after a fire. One, the owner must remove what's damaged in order to rebuild/replace it. Two, following a fire, firefighters must make sure that the structure is sound and there are no hidden flames still burning when they leave.
5. It's not a quick process. The repairs can take time, and it can feel like they're never going to be done. But it's safe, and worth the work.