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When I finally got permission to make this project (more about this later), I had NO clue what kind of images I would use. I had spent my previous years in art school seeking the relative safety of drawing naked people. I believed that developing strong drawing skills was the basis of all other visual efforts, that without the ability to draw, everything else that followed would teeter on a weak foundation.

As I began, I felt alone not only because of the subject, not only because I had never made an animated film before, but also because I had not given myself much of a chance to develop a non-figurative vocabulary. All I knew was that my work would not be an animation of figure drawings, of someone getting raped.

I spent a number of weeks thinking of little else, but coming up empty. For several nights, I had dreams in which women were screaming, and there was lots of black and red and terror. My attempts to get these dreams on to paper were the beginning of finding visual definition to my experience.

Weeks into working with color and shapes, I found the photograph that had been taken of me less than a week after the rape. I had not seen it for years but I was instantly sent back to the time and place where it had been taken. I knew I would have to break my own rule about not using anything figurative: I made copies of the photograph and altered it in as many ways as I could think of.

While working, I was trying to conjure up the feelings I had had, hurling myself backwards into that time. The words that I came to use to describe the images were a result of conducting workshops over the course of two years, using all 600 images.  It was like a post mortem analysis. I became grateful to the participants for their words, and for asking me to use words to define the images.

I hope that after viewing the work, you will add your own words and responses in the Contact/Visitors page section of this site.

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