Through an autoethnographic research-creation practice, I consider how my negotiations of public space are informed by my experiences with and memories of gender-based violence. As a research method for creative production and knowledge-making, I embody the coping mechanism of looking down which has become a consistent way that I both consciously and subconsciously cross public spatial boundaries. Stemming from my experiences with violence, I have learned to rely on looking down in order to move through public spaces alone. In turn, I have harnessed this coping mechanism and shaped it into a research method. As I negotiate my daily life and site-specific routes, often looking down, I collect images, make notes, and collect objects that garner my attention. These objects, notes, and images are then used to produce many of my print and installation works. The resulting work is often positioned along the floor of the exhibition space: drawing the viewer’s eye down. The imagery that is first apparent to the audience is typically jubilant, however, upon closer look, poetry embodying darker memories and innermost thoughts emerge, often in white ink, scared across the pages.
Through this presentation, I will share my most recent print work and will discuss how traumatic memory can affect daily movement through boundaries. Using my practice as one example, I will demonstrate how print works can have a transformative power through their positioning within space and I will discuss how this positioning may shift an audience’s perception of place and understandings of their own and each other’s coping mechanisms. I will share how I look towards the imaginative power of imagery that is represented and translated through sculptural print and installation to transform and shape understandings of space as joyous, carefree, and vital and why it is important to create this work that ultimately embodies optimism.