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Art, Working with Difficult Subject Matter

I make art about abuse, the shaming of women, the feminine experience, my body.

I love taboos, they get me all riled up and angry.

I am angry now.

I am an angry feminist and I can't help getting even angrier, almost every day. Especially before coffee.

I am working with film at the moment, film about abuse. It is tough.

I want to move on, to shift a gear, to make art about nice things. But it is impossible.

It may be because of lockdown. It may be because I read a diary from a violent perpetrator's point of view, it may be because I am a cancer and abuse survivor embittered by years of domestic violence. Or it may be because I have the power to change, to influence, to connect with others for hope through a shared feminine experience.

The biggest issue with my work is always about the audience. Because I work with body image and sex, among other things, I can never tell if my audience is missing the point. I get approached by a lot of men with the wrong end of the stick.

Working on a piece about child abuse is even more tricky. I am aware of making images salacious or misleading. But I wonder if that is impossible to get right? You will always get someone missing the point completely.

My mum, after an annoying episode I had this week from an observer, told me that I must get over this reaction I have when men are titillated instead of inspired, or when they completely overlook my brain because they can't take their eyes off my boobs.

An artist cannot control the viewer or consumer of their artwork.

I am still angry despite listening to my elder. But now I accept it. Sort of.

I will just carry on regardless. Artists do as they do because it is instinctive. A knee jerk reaction that lasts a lifetime.

All I know is that I can't stop and I should care less about what anyone thinks. I won't make great art if I start caring.