A key strand of my latest visual research includes a handwritten diary kept by various carers throughout my grandma's decline with Alzheimer's Disease. I have also decided to integrate drawings made throughout that time by her daughter, carer, and lasting power of attorney, my mother Sarah Lee (Lennard). Embodying these found records, I play with a fusion of influences from vintage children's fables to niche pornography. This is an online sketchbook of sorts with selected ideas and works put together during the Pandemic.
As the illness developed, Grandma's ability to perform the self slipped; expressions of personal consent could no longer be defined - her body changed guardianship. The illness not only erases memories but spontaneously unlocks them, presenting and recalling spectres of power dynamics and social events. The affect of patriarchal machismo entitlement creeps through the lines of broken scripts exposing the decline of the individual's 'rational' mind, as well as lingering cultural amnesia around forced submissiveness, particularly in regards to female bodies. This work has been an opportunity to connect grandma's footsteps following conservative family values, the pressures of the patriarchal gaze, and the continued reliance on 'feminized labour'.
Crosswords are a leisure activity found inside newspapers, magazines, in waiting rooms. If you place a gap in the middle it creates, ‘cross words’. This manner nets an error. Cross words surface wrinkles, design a bruise, tease out bullets onto dead paper. Blood fills language gaps, rooted in socio-sadomasochistic attitudes embraced by perverted tongues. Madness, construed as a joke, deserving punishment, "a woman is used in the making, and made in the using [...] the violence she requires is the measure of her need to submit" (Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women