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THE CLASS OF 2020: Michela Roman

Michela Roman

Nipissing University, North Bay Ontario, Canada

Unspoken Voices

The term trauma is understood as a wound inflicted not only upon the body, but also upon the mind. More than just a physical impact, trauma is the lasting emotional response to a distressful event, it implies a crisis of representation, history and truth. Trauma has become a paradigm that has been turned into a repertoire of compelling stories about the enigmas of identity, memory and self-hood; These concepts mark the point of departure for my thesis work.

My work is engaged in the study of human anatomy and the natural world, and uses the human body as a metaphor for the passions and tribulations of existence. Through studying Trauma Theory and the human body my work will attempt to modernize the tradition of expressionist and emotive figural sculpture. My artwork will express a juxtaposition that is born not only between the physically abject and the "beautiful," but as well as the representations of the lost and unseen. I am particularly interested in the mental illness of post—traumatic stress disorder, specifically the experience of overwhelming stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, in relation to the growth and ability to reflect during a time of healing.

My work is comprised of two 3/4 life size figurative hydrocal sculptures that are a foot apart, one sculpture looking at the other. My two sculptures create a visual narrative of pain and resilience. They represent the healing process by showing the contrast between two states — trauma and healing. One of the two sculptures crouches calmly while studying and reflecting upon its own

repetitive haunting memory of PTSD, which is captured in the other figure. Through these sculpted forms I am aiming to retrieve the innermost emotions of PTSD as well as the effects of the healing process, without displaying exact description of the distressful event, in the attempt to bring-into-being of that which cannot be remembered– yet that cannot be forgotten.

Image 1: Unspoken Voices (Close Up)

Image 2: Unspoken Voices

Image 3: Detail shot of Figure 1 of 2

Image 4: Detail shot of bruising and deterioration of figure 2 of 2 (The haunting memory of PTSD)

Image 5: Detail shot to figure 2-Facial expression


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