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Artist: Ana Holguin
Medium: Mixed media–painting and collage 21.5 x 27
Artist’s Statement: This piece became an exploration of how the survivor both exudes a personal magic and a magic born out of their fortitude in the face of trauma, and perhaps the ways that these qualities cannot be unknotted from one another.
My beautiful survivor is bright-eyed, full of light, loving, exudes energy. She so reminds me of a baby goat playfully bouncing around. However, the archetype of the goat is also heavy and rich. There is the character of rebellion, butting heads, climbing precipices, being offered up as sacrifice, or even being aligned with darkness, witchcraft, or evil. I wanted to use the image of the goat to reflect upon unspeakable pain and resplendent abundance.
The survivor and I shared many overlapping portions of our life stories including issues with numbing, disordered eating, yoga as healing, and a complex relationship to our Catholic upbringing. I included metal milagros, charms used for representing and healing the body/mind/spirit, as they both link to a history of Catholicism but also rebel against the more dogmatic patriarchal pieces of the Church. Milagro in English means, “miracle” and I love how these little talisman can signify mindful focus on pieces of the self while also recovering a Pagan witchiness.
“Your truth is always yours to own. There is no one who can take that from you. Do not let anyone convince you that your voice is not heard or that your story is not valid or needed in this world. Our experiences as survivors are needed to be shared in community and love, and your truth is heard. You are loved and you are perfectly whole.” — Stephanie