Kirsten Aubrey

Beneath the Surface

I am a descendant of European settlers in the treaty 7 region of southern Alberta, Canada. The history of colonialism in this country includes horrific acts of injustice towards First Nations peoples of this land. Recent un-covering of residential school grave-sites was heartbreaking to confront as a parent, and left me wondering how to respond without causing further harm or distraction from Indigenous community healing. This personal photo series is an attempt at expressing feelings of rage, shame, impotence, fear and sorrow. These feelings often feel unfocused, contradictory, and hobbling.

In making this series, I used a nylon fabric as a tool to give shape to my feelings. As I push my body into the fabric, I feel the resistance of the material and lean into it, sit behind it, or scream into it, allowing my emotions to guide my movement. The resulting imagery is a combination of artistic expression and a tool for further self reflection.

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