When Justice Comes to Dinner


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Artist-Creative Concept/Survivor: Rhonda Vance
Photographer: Mary Szalkowski
Medium: Photography, 23 x 19 and 23 x 19
Price: $1,000.00 for the pair

Artist’s Statement: The first image shows Justice seated at the end of a long table, with a forlorn yet serene look on her face peering out a window. In her hand lies a gavel next to a long table with 13 guest settings in gold and white with scales positioned at the head. The table exemplifies the long wait a survivor must endure for even a glimpse of what some call Justice. Her expression of sadness reflects the reality that Justice is rarely ever blind—rather, Justice has been gagged. Voices and stories are often dismissed or shelved for the sake of society, the perpetrator’s image, or simply the ease of ignoring. Each place setting represents what Justice will bring to the table of redemption; Dignity, Joy, Relationships, Family, Intimacy, etc. I believe each survivor has long desired Justice to come to show up on his or her behalf, but the very things it takes to call upon or invite Justice (i.e. confidence, strength, support), have been taken.

The second image shows Justice standing over the table, hands outstretched, eyes down, headpiece prevalent with the table in focus. Justice is offering both an apology and an invitation in this piece. Her position of head down, eyes lowered, represents her regrets for both her tardiness and society’s failing systems. Open shoulders and hands are symbolic of the weight & ongoing trauma a survivor must bear. The headpiece includes swords, magnolias, and skulls—indicative of both the beauty in Justice coming, and the consequences for the perpetrator. Although Justice may bring a balm to one’s experience, I think she is equally maddened by the damage done.

Her invitation to the viewer is simply this; “Be among other survivors and become part of this restorative meal. Take a seat at this table, but make yourself necessary-not comfortable.”

Additional information

Dimensions 23 × 19 × 2 in