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SATURNALIA FOR ASH-FILLED HANDS/KENSHŌ

Iris Funaioli

"SATURNALIA FOR ASH-FILLED HANDS/KENSHŌ" is one of my largest pieces to date, a drawing done on butcher paper taped over my bedroom wall. Taking a month to create, much of the subject matter in this piece represents an exploration of vulnerability, shame, guilt, suffering, change, and love… Originally, I planned that the upper left would be composed of symbols of innocence and purity, and that the bottom right would devolve into something more dark and shameful. However, as I kept working, I realized that doing so would be organizing the human experience into “good” and “bad”--which I don’t believe I have the right nor the capability to do. I later was inspired by the Martha Nussbaum quote “Now we know the deepest reason why the Aristotelian cannot say ‘I shall have love in my life, but I shall get rid of murderous rage.’” I feel as though there is some commemoration to be done about fear, sadness, and loss within human life, and I found comfort in the worship of this entire experience. Thus, this piece became a documentation of my own suffering and growth, as well as a celebration of it.

Artist Statement Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXyISo0iVHM&ab_channel=IrisChiara

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