Gwynneth VanLaven

Keep Distance
inkjet print
12 x 12 in.

For some time since the event of a car careening into and crushing my body, I have been aware of sharing space with cars as speeding bullets. Collision is the closing of the gap between. In my now-disabled body, the COVID-19 pandemic rekindles fear of colliding, and desiring anything to hold onto.

Since the accident, I’ve felt at home with traffic barrels; mangled characters like me, each with its state of newness or of decay. Some were abandoned to rot in a median, others tossed asunder in a tar field. Some are scarred; traffic kissed, touched with danger, dragged under a truck on the interstate, torn, crushed.

Boldly I probe the traumatic narrative held deep inside. Traffic drums have their own traumas told in exhaust grime and battle-scars. And yet, they stand still at attention, holding vigil, bare to the world, to both signal and to witness the presence of the danger of getting too close.

© Gwynneth VanLaven