Artist/Survivor: Cecilia Garcia-Linz
Medium: Broken mirror, plywood, watercolor paper, markers, pastels, paints, wood scraps, copper wire, screws: 14 x 20
Artist’s Statement: This piece was constructed using the following discarded items: A broken mirror found on the side of the road mounted on plywood scrap; watercolor paper scraps; an assortment of markers, pastels and paints; woodworking scraps found in the abandoned woodshop housed in the same building as my studio; and copper wire & screws.
For most of my life I hated mirrors or, more accurately, feared them. I was terrified by what I saw reflected back at me, to see myself being crushed beneath the weight of trauma. Is this how everyone else sees me? I don’t know which answer made me feel the most helpless – that no one could see the pain and suffering I was too young to comprehend, much less articulate, or that everyone could see and no one was willing to intervene. Later in life this disdain for mirrors was strengthened by the body issues so many of us struggle with.
But now I am healing. I am thriving. I am reclaiming.
When I think back to those times I sat in front of the mirror, horrified and ashamed, I wish I could see myself on the other side of it all. That somehow the survivor in me could go back and offer solace to my younger self. “Don’t give up. You’ll make it through.” But there is no magic mirror. We can’t show these young victims what the future holds but by refusing to be silent about abuse and the rape culture that allows sexual trauma to perpetuate we can show them what is possible. We can let them see us as survivors reclaiming our lives, our bodies and our right to safe spaces. We can give them hope.
More from the Artist: Cecilia Garcia-Linz of Enviro-Mental Art creates artwork that is accessible and affordable to all while drawing attention to environmental, social, economic and political issues using the waste left in the wake of humanity.