Robin Grabinska

Fractured Woman #4
copper, silk, poetry

Fractured Women: The Psychological Effects of Rape was not about the violence of rape but rather, surviving the aftermath and the way it changes your life. I decided to approach the work not as a victim but as a survivor. Although working from personal trauma can leave you vulnerable, when you feel like every aspect of your life is unstable it can be a necessity.

My poetry became a huge influence–in fact, the catalyst for the work. The transition from verbal symbolism to the visual symbolism of earthquake fissures and color was instinctive. The fissures were symbolic of the natural violence of Mother Nature, the shearing of the victim’s identity, and the emotional pain it causes. The use of color, seen in the hand-dyed silk, became a way to tap into the extreme range of emotions and the corporal. Red was used to represent rage and blood that has been exposed to air. Blue was used to represent sorrow, loss, and blood that courses through the veins.

This work has allowed me to own my life in its entirety and move from victim to survivor. Its real power, however, became evident to me when a woman who viewed the work came up to me and said, “Thank you.”

© Robin Grabinska