This illustrative series was created for the 'Clean Slate' exhibition in 2013. The exhibition featured 'Clean Slate Diaries' entries, which are written works by survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, focused on empowering victims.
The goal was to support the exhibit through a five-piece illustrative series. I wanted to portray the story of abuse without showing any living being (as to avoid being too graphic, or causing flashbacks for the attendees). I ultimately decided on vandalism as an artistic representation of an abusive situation.
The first image is a representation of what life was initially. Not perfect. A little messy. Overall, simple.
The second image is a startling jump to a very bad situation. There are many things going wrong, and it looks like they have been for some time.
Initially, something big and heavy must have been thrown at the window, but the damage was ignored. It was chalked up as something you could live with. Just try to fix the window when you get to it.
Over time, the whole area is ignored. The lamp left tilted, the books more scattered and falling off the shelf.
Then a fire breaks out. It's not made clear if the lamp cord was snapped when the object was thrown, starting the sparks, or if the fire was caused by something else entirely.
The third image is the immediate aftermath. It's obvious that we're past the point where you can just live with it.
The fourth image is the removal of what's left standing. There are two reasons for this process after a fire. First, a removal of what damaged is necessary in order to replace it. Second, to make sure that the structure is still sound, and there is no hidden sparks that could reignite.
It's not a quick process. The repairs can take time, and it can feel like they're never going to be done. But it's safe, and the finished room will be worth the work.