I didnt want to self destruct

By: Elleona Kristine
Arbor Preparatory Academy

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Artist Statement

My piece is about generational trauma within BiPOC communities.

The left side has a darker and chaotic theme to it. It has symbols for death, racism, substance abuse and more. I wanted to convey the feeling of a bad memory or even a nightmare. I believe that unhealed trauma from the past is like a recurring nightmare. The more you try to ignore it, it just keeps coming back more vividly. Past trauma has held BiPOC communities back from progressing forward and it has held households hostage. For example, slavery, racism and the crack epidemic still have a huge impact today.

The right side is simpler and brighter. It is more free to interpret. However there is a sobriety coin for 12 months to show healing over time. The left painting is showing healing, growth and unity. I chose to use gold because gold is a color of achievement.

I wanted the name to be applied to both paintings separately or as a whole. For example “I didn’t want to self-destruct anymore so I got sober” or “I didn’t want to self-destruct but I did” and “I didn’t want to self-destruct but I did and now I’m healing. However, the name is free to interpret.

In my personal life, generational trauma has withheld important relationships from me and held me back. That’s why as a community we need to recognize trauma within our own households and find a way to heal so we can all move forward.