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Yvette Cummings
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

This body of work focuses on the way women are objectified, shamed and abused from an early age. I am exploring the complicated path of youth, beauty, femininity and the relationships of adolescence as expressed through the viewpoint of a sexual abuse survivor. I have watched my daughters in their youth and reflect on the trouble that was forced on me as a child. The narratives present the delayed, uncontrolled and repetitive nature of a survivors’ response to trauma.

The figures are pushed to the foreground, making the viewer confront messages of conflict, both internal and physical, playing out before them. In contrast to the patterns, the characters challenge the gaze we place on adolescence and the expectations that come with beauty. Positions of power, feelings of anger, misogyny, fear, regret, and shame can be conjured depending on the experiences we bring to the work.

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