Medium: Charcoal, red wax crayon, newspaper, book pages, ring binder, SUBZ bags, acrylic paint, red ink, brown paper.
I was inspired by my aunt, Susan Barnes, to do this artwork. She runs an NGO called SUBZ. SUBZ helps to educate teenage girls by supplying them with washable sanitary towels and panties so that they can attend school whilst they are menstruating.
I used symbolism to enhance the impact of this artwork. My mediums have meaning and every aspect of this art piece has been thoroughly thought through. The red wax crayons and red ink under the wax crayons symbolise blood. I melted the wax crayons from the top of the board to the bottom in order to capture the appearance of dripping blood. The black charcoal represents the darkness of the girls’ situation and the white charcoal represents the glimpses of hope, which my aunty helps to provide.
The lady in my artwork is a girl that my aunt knows well. I used her to represent all the girls that have been impacted by my aunt. The ring binder, papers, newspapers and book pages symbolise the girls’ education. The girl is carrying the papers in a bundle on her back to emphasise the burden of a period in a poor young lady’s life who is trying to go to school.
I have cut, rolled and glued the SUBZ bags (in which the panties and pads are delivered in) to create ropes, as well as a pattern at the base of the bundle. The ropes are holding the bundle together, therefore indicating that my aunt’s project (the ropes), SUBZ, is holding the girls’ education (the bundle) together.
Project Dignity helps to empower young women by sending them to school to acquire a thorough education. I am so proud of my aunty for this project and I’m grateful for the lives that she has positively impacted. When people look at this artwork, I want them to ask themselves what the artwork is about, what the artist’s intention was and hopefully, they will look into the project!