Each of these works, Cause and Effect, Touch, and Ritual, is an illustration and unashamed unpacking of the effects, for adult survivors, of childhood sexual and physical abuse. The creation of the body of work serves as a ritualistic breaking down and working through of the personal observations of the artist, as an adult, addressing the needs of a child self: through depiction without shame or guilt of abuse through representation of the psychological effects as well as the physical, and the self-inflicted, as well as through the recording of a final ritual, a placation and shedding of the child victim, representing the abuse (caused by the survivor) upon a totemic representation of the child self. By inhabiting all players – victim, voyeur, and abuser – the figurative works exist to shift and question the roles of power, victimisation and control.
The figures are totemic representations of scenarios. Memorials to events, which now live only in memory. The first question, then, is that of whether the one who perpetrated, or the one who holds the memory, is in a position of power. These works argue that once abuse has been enacted, the power must shift from abuser to victim. The second question is how ritual can aid in the healing of trauma: does projection of emotion onto a cloth figure allow the victim to assess their abuse as a voyeur, or even as the perpetrator themselves, and to regain the feeling of ownership and control over their own being?
See more of Holland's work at www.hollandotik.com
Find out more about the MA Contemporary Crafts degree show here