As The Looking Glass: An Introspection at Minority and Traumatized Identities

Name: Indigo Adobea Abenda Joy Quashie
Major: Studio Art
Minor: Education
Advisor: Dr. Marina Mangubi

Most Creative Video Award

As The Looking Glass was a form of self-care. In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I found it necessary to transform this project into a tool of healing rather than additional stress during this academic year. ATLG consists of 30 sequential self-portraits, 30 corresponding journal entries, a 11-minute narrative film, and several pages of art and poetry. These portraits displayed how I perceived myself in regards to my attitudes, identities, and past experiences. I found that the best way to explore this was through three things: Meditation, bold colors and styles, and unfiltered writing. This collection of work covers topics like sexual trauma, spiritual growth, and gender identity. Each day between December 12th, 2020 and January 11th, 2021 was dedicated to a specific topic. My daily routine was to meditate for a half hour, journal for 10 minutes, then paint a portrait for however long it took.
While this was a very self-centered project, I wanted to bring my audience into the journey, and this was represented by painting my portraits on mirrors as well as presenting my journal in the gallery space. While looking at my jealousy portrait, would a person’s reflection cause them to consider their own jealousy? My final mirror tile holds no portrait because it expresses the security I felt towards myself by the end of this project. I want the audience to see their own beauty reflected back to them in that same tile, feeling secure about themselves in those moments.
ATLG was not a replacement for therapy, but was a catalyst towards implementing healing into my daily life, as well as a broader conversation about race, gender, and sexuality . I hope that it inspires others to do the same.

Indigo will be online to field comments on April 16:
noon-2pm EDT (PST 9-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening) and 4-6 pm EDT (PST 1-3pm, Africa/Europe: late evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 4, 2021.