Artist: Monica Stegeman
Survivor: Skylar Ashton Kantola
Medium: Found object assemblage: 24 x 16 x 3
Artist’s Statement: Working with trauma is always a delicate situation; it is complex and never just one incident or one detail, but a myriad of dovetailing feelings and re-injury. This piece speaks to the many ways that trauma can heal itself by growing and embracing the shadow that we desperately wish to hide. The tree/spine speaks to the paradox of stability and growth where each leaf is being birthed and letting go of the tree simultaneously. The overall vehicle, the suitcase is a metaphor for unpacking our trauma and examining it with the love of a traveler.
The use of wild animals as predator/prey or friend/foe helps to see the patterns that we may fall into after trauma.
I would like the client and viewer to hold these images in their hearts and minds as a loving and curious image of growth and acknowledgement, just as a loving parent holds a child.
Thank you for this experience as the artist to heal my own trauma and hold another person’s soul within my own.