Trying to keep a level of ambiguity is hard when I want and need people to understand the concept. BUT, I’m keeping ambiguity by having abstract images and inanimate objects that are clarified through the use of sound. I also need to keep a level of ambiguity in regards of taking a step back from the personal aspect and leave all of the testimonials to be anonymous so then you’re left wondering who they’re about and what is going on with what person, what objects link to what testimonial and who is the person behind them.
So after that massive investigation post concerning triggers in general and for myself, here are the triggering qualities that are shown in my work and what they mean.
This is the piece that started it all, this is the blue, the triggering blue that my series is inspired by, this is why the blue is a reassuring theme throughout the work to tie all of these objects together.
“He’d already left us for another woman but he came in while I was decorating and forced himself on me.”
“Mam, that’s rape.”
The blue is the colour the walls were being painted, it’s been painted over now but behind the radiator is the only place that it still exists. So here, the sense being used to trigger is sight, and the visual trigger is the colour blue due to that being prominent at the time of abuse.
This collaborative piece has the visual triggering blue and the visual trigger of finding her knickers had holes cut into them, these cut outs were possibly kept as trophies for him and a reminder of what he did to her. To find these must bring all sorts of negative traumatic memories back. For her to have the bravery to sew them up to reclaim them, a big ‘fuck you’ and send them to me is amazing and I will walls thank her for that.
The anti rape laxatives are causing me a bit of grief at the moment, I don’t really know what to do with them and I’m unsure on how else I can recreate this testimonial, I’m really starting to think about making a video. Anyway, laxatives were a way of one victim protecting herself from rape, she would spike her partners tea or juice with them so he would spend all night on the toilet instead of forcing himself on her.
A psychological trigger is something that sets of a memory or a flashback to a traumatic experience, such as a car crash, an explosion (common for army men) or abuse. A trigger can be set off by any of the five senses, sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.
What senses can trigger in the case of abuse.
Seeing the abuser, or someone that looks/dresses/has similar traits like the abuser.
Situations where someone is being abused, can be in real life or on the tv/internet.
The object you were abused with (if physical) or any objects that resemble it.
Places where abuse occurred or places associated with the abuser.
Words used when being verbally abused.
The sound of the abuser.
Sounds associated with the abuser and their actions, doors slamming/stomping.
Anything that sounds negative or aggressive.
The smell of the abuser, their breath or cologne, tobacco/alcohol.
The smell of places where abuse took place or associated with the abuser.
If physically abused then any physical contact can be triggering. Someone standing too close, dominant/forceful/the way someone approaches you.
Roughness of contact.
The feel of objects used to cause harm.
Anything the abuser cooked for you or made you eat. Someone can control you with food.
Tastes connected with the abuser, tobacco/alcohol/drugs/their favourite food.
I know this is a massive list of random things that can cause someone to have a flashback and feel emotional turmoil but, some people don’t experience all of these things and they’re always very personal.
Breaking down MY triggers.
This can be so hard for me to determine what is and isn’t a trigger for me as I am still trying to learn them myself.
The sight of him, obviously.
Big, muscular men, this is why I used to have such a problem with going to the gym, something I’m slowly forcing myself to get used to.
Violence and people getting hurt, I can’t watch scary movies, I can’t watch people fighting, I always throw myself into the middle of a fight on nights out to attempt to break it up.
Animal cruelty, I saw him pin my dog down and punch him in the side in the back of the car, I had never hated him so much, I grabbed Duke and ran home.
People crying, it makes me cry, maybe I have too much empathy haha, I’ve seen my mum and brother cry way too many times.
I convinced myself that Sunny’s hands and forearms looked exactly like my dad’s once.
Army men, anyone in army gear. We were posted to Germany and lived on an army camp, I spent most of my weekends doing my homework on the army base in tanks etc.
Angry/disappointed tone of voice, tone can really effect me, I think I read into it too much and question how people are feeling about me if they use a negative tone.
Loud aggressive voice.
Laughing, I’m not sure why, I feel like people are laughing at me or that I’m being left out. I also use laughing as a way of dismissing aggressive voices or verbal abuse as I know it used to wind my dad up, if I laughed at him during an argument then he would use physical threats.
The sound of motorbikes, I associate them with him, I grew up with motorbikes as they were his life.
Stomping around the house and slamming doors.
He has a certain smell and I don’t know what it is but when I smell it then I know it.
The smell of motorbikes.
BEING TICKLED – DO NOT TICKLE ME. I know people hate being tickled anyway but he used to sit on me and tickle me until I cried. If you tickle me then I will do anything in my power to get you off me, I will physically hurt you.
Honey roasted chicken, it’s the only meal I remember him cooking for me, he wrapped it up in foil for me to take to a sleepover at my nan’s house.
Nutella on toast, reminds me of the first day we moved to Germany. This isn’t actually a negative trigger though.
This is another interesting collaborative art work showed to us in the transmission workshop. It’s an interesting play with sound that seems to have a massive psychological effect on the speaker, to hear their own voice bouncing back on them seems to create a delay in the brain. When her voice comes back into her ears it slows and distorts the connection between her thoughts. She appears drunk and un coordinated, it really reminds me of the way my autistic cousin speaks, clinging on to words that he finds interesting and the lack of eye contact.
With my sound piece I want the words to resonate with the objects and photographs that you’re seeing whilst experiencing the sound. I also have ‘boomeranging’ type effects with the repeating of certain words that I find triggering.
This is another domestic related artwork, it’s an online piece where you go onto their website to have complete access to their computer files, everything that is on there. They effectively gave up their privacy as their personal views believed privacy to be stupid.
There is a link to my work here as I am giving up very personal bits of information and testimonials, I am giving up my privacy in order to help and educate others. It is a difficult aspect of my work and I really don’t know whether to go all out and completely lay everything bare, like Eva and Franco, or to take a step back in order to protect myself and my sanity.
I wonder what steps they took to protect themselves whilst creating this piece, they must have done something in order for them not to become victims of fraud etc.
Looking at an article it is so strange to see that she was ‘internet famous’ before that even became a fad, before all the celebrities rose to this level of online fame, before people became famous just for having a big online presence.
The only element of the work that links in with my subject matter is that it is a domestic piece, showing the mundane essentials of domestic life. But while watching the piece for the first time I felt that tension was created with the lagging of the image. There must of been a 2 second delay/lapse in time glitching that put me a bit on edge, even though nothing bad happened. It’s something to think about with my sound piece and if I do decide to create some video (I do have an idea).
We were told to select some images to bring the the workshop, seeing as my desktop on my mac was full of stuff I just selected a few at random and printed them.
Some were artist’s that I’d been looking at recently, some were old photos that I took on my film camera (I used to take photos of everything), and then some recent artworks from myself.
First thing I realised was I’ve stopped taking photos now, I used to take my camera everywhere and photograph everything that made me happy, I don’t take photos anymore. I think I stopped taking photos when my relationship fell apart and the court case happened, I guess I had nothing happy to photograph after that. I also noticed that the photographs I had chosen were some from holidays with my ex partner and photos of adventures with a friend that I’m not really that close too anymore. I think me being me ruined both those relationships, I resent myself for that so in turn I find it hard to try and fix them.
When it comes to my artworks, they’re pieces I created through anger and hurt, they all link back to my personal feelings, and according to the group they’re strong pieces.
Looking at my adventure images just reminds me of all the side effects of my depression and anxiety, it makes me realise how much I isolated myself and willed myself to disappear into the background, therefore ruining my relationship and friendships. I feel sad that I let that happen, and sad that other people let it happen too.