The original sketch of “Hangin’ Around” was scrawled way back in 1989.. well before I had “had enough” of standard Western Cutlure living and dropped out of “it all.” The meaning and importance of this sketch was nevr clear to me until the last few months..
After more than 12 months of walking through the muck and mire of child abuse.. the meaning of this one sketch (re- sketched, below) hit me hard and fully.. like someone swinging a board and hitting me square in the chest…
This is ME.. just barely hanging on!
I was a student at Carleton University.. I thought that I was SUPPOSED to go through university.. I thought that it was my goal and my dream.. but I was wrong. I was blackmailed and brainwashed and then I was IMPOVERISHED by my parent… and at the time the original sketch was done- I had no money, I wasn’t allowed to get a student loan (because PARENT wouldn’t fill out the required paperwork.. she actively thwaarted my hopes and chances of getting a student loan.. the ONE thing I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I needed in order to be even somewhat successful at University..).
I was, literally.. hanging on by just a thread!
Just looking at this sketch.. the original was thrown out by PARENT who had been charged with the responsibility of keeping a few small boxes and one steamer trunk safe for later collection.. my heart aches as even this rendition of the past ideas and motives is heart wrenching.
The sketch started out inspired by a fire, to be honest.
I was walking down Bank St. in Ottawa heading from the downtown core to Landsdown Park, near where I lived at the time, and there was a building that had burned down.. very recently. I think it was still smoking sort of. There were piles of aged and damaged red bricks strewn about like detritus.. and I hurriedly went back to my residence and picked up my duffel bag to start hauling bricks back.. I made two or three trips and then sat down with a cup of late night coffee and proceeded to scrawl out the original sketch.
I’ll admit- the original was just a human arm holding on for dear life.. and the new version is to be a combination of hand hewn and finished soapstone pieces within a framework of rough, rusting, and welded metal.. metal that was collected this past summer while doing markets with The General Bean.. we were in Inglewood and there was railway detritus “just within reach” of our parked car and some of those pieces, if cut right, resemble the curved fingers that might just barely hold a person from falling to the void.
Might hold ME from falling in to the void.
I can’t explain enough how, at the time of original sketching, I was encapsulaed.. envelopped within a perpetual state of fear for the future.. for my future. I had no idea where my next meal would come from nor if I was ever going to reach goal attainment. And I want to leverage MY ARTOWRK to publicly call- out abusers and help put an end to the generational cycle that is child abuse.. to put an end to something that has caused me nothing but pain and indecision for my entire life.