AVA MARIE DOWNEY
Photocopy blown up on paper in frame
For my final year project, I have studied Domestic Abuse against women as I feel it is an extremely relevant issue in today's society. I have explored different forms of domestic abuse such as emotional, physical, sexual and economic abuse. I have done focused research on various different types of domestic abuse as I feel we as a society in Ireland tend to have a narrow minded view about what constitutes domestic abuse. Initially, domestic abuse springs to mind images of bruises and broken bones, when in reality abuse can be so much more than just physical. I hope my work shows that psychological abuse is just as serious and raises awareness of coercive control.
In my work, I have explored this subject with the use of text, print, photography, collage, paint, installation and sculpture. I used various different mixed media to try and decide which was best suited to what I was trying to convey in my work. I have created images of women pushed up against glass surrounded by the very things that hold them in their abusive relationships; money and keys to represent financial stability, contraception to symbolize sexual abuse and many other components that make it near impossible for women to leave their abusers.
The main objective of my work was to encourage the audience to recognise abuse can come in many different forms rather than just physical and provoke a conversation on what we as a society plan to do on combating this problem and educating ourselves on the various forms of abuse. I hope my work sparks a conversation about coercive control as it has only been recognised in Ireland as a criminal offense in the last couple of years.
Intimidation, humiliation and threats are part of too many women's reality and I plan to keep raising awareness about this social issue through my art to possibly evoke change.