The Scream

Patricia Ariel

Everett, United States

Artist's Description

The Scream is basically a piece about violence against women, a subject that really sensitizes me not only for being a woman, but also for being human and for dreaming and working for a better world based on respect and equality.

I didn’t want a piece that was oppressing or showed only the pain of the violence or abuse. I wanted something dynamic, that could have a “voice”, that could help people to reflect about how to change things. The symbolism of the piece is quite simple and direct. There’s a dual figure in the center. She might be the same woman in two different attitudes, if you like. The red-haired one is scared and in pain. She holds her bleeding heart and wears a mask to keep herself hidden from judgment or other losses. She might be the one who was raped in a party after drinking too much, the one who was abused for a family member but preferred to hide in order to do not cause disturbances in the family, the one who was beaten for her husband but kept silent for fear of losing her children. She might be one of the Congo women. She might be me, or you.

The black-haired woman doesn’t wear a mask. She is screaming – although sometimes I think that she is in fact singing. What she releases from within herself is a bird, red as life. Is the desire for freedom from a world conquered by force, not love. She screams her right to be treated as a human being instead of a second-class citizen, as a partner instead of a subordinate. Her right to express her own ideas and have their own attitudes without being demonized for them.

There are also masks at the bottom, a pile of masks without faces behind them. They once belonged to women who decided to scream instead of keep silent and anonymous. That decided to stop pretending that that’s how the world is and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. But there’s so much one can do just by having a voice… And use it to demand respect for being human is urgent.

Artwork Comments

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