drawing connections ** WARNING - CONTENT INCLUDES REFERENCE TO SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL ABUSE**If you need assistance with the issue of sexual assault or abuse please contact: Ballarat CASA 03 5320 3933 or After Hours/Crisis Care 24 hours - free call 1800 806 292 drawing connections connecting through drawing connecting while drawing connecting with drawings drawing connections collaboratively explores the possible connections and commonalities we have as survivors of childhood sexual abuse, regardless of our individual stories. drawing connections conceived and facilitated by Rebecca Russell, an artist with lived experience, in collaboration with Somatic Experiencing practitioner Silvana Izzo, sound designer and composer Steph O’Hara and video artist Dotahn Caspi.
drawing connections participants became collaborators in a process involving viewing artworks, locating responses in the body and drawing. Drawing connections collaborators: Blake Curran Tessa H Pete W Harpy Whiny Rebecca Russell Dotahn Caspi Steph O’Hara Silvana Izzo
about the works The five short films and accompanying verbatim poetry*, are a snapshot of the drawings, stories and more importantly, the connections that were made during our time of drawing together. They capture some of the main themes that bubbled to the surface throughout this process. They come from a deeply personal place but represent bigger themes, themes that connect us as survivors. During our final session, we had a complex discussion about how an audience might experience our work. Silvana Izzo shared some thought provoking insights:
The modern world feels really uncomfortable with human suffering… And this (work) feels like suffering. We don’t need to make suffering go away with a rainbow at the end, with a happy ending. We need to bear human suffering. Be with people and not turn away. Choosing to hear the story, to be a witness actually to the whole of suffering. Not to make it better. Not to put a rainbow at the end. Not to say, OK you’ve told your story, now you can move on.
Thank you for being here and bearing witness. We, the drawing connections collaborators, invite you to… watch the videos in order, wearing headphones. To all survivors and lateral survivors of childhood sexual abuse, we hope our drawings and words help you feel stronger, less alone and more connected. Thank you Rebecca Russell *verbatim poetry – poetry created from the original words spoken and recorded during the drawing connections sessions.
This project is part of Continuous Voices Continuous Voices is a City of Ballarat project that connects trauma and creativity to stand for change and resistance against sexual assault and sexual abuse. The project acknowledges the courage of those who have stood for change and provides hope for these continuous voices to be heard. The project will work towards creating a public space in Ballarat to reflect. The shape of this space and memorial will be determined through creative collaborations with community.