Bodies of Wood is a personal essay in the lineage of testimonial writing by survivors of sexual violence. It weaves together the unsettling process of confronting traumatic memory with insights from queer and feminist theory. Printed copies were originally part of the gallery exhibition of the same name at Peninsula Art Space (2016) and the Aperture Foundation (2017).
Through photography, sculpture and installation I disassemble codified systems of power that inhibit the connection between individuals and communities. I am drawn towards people and places whose identities are largely self-made. In these I find evidence of a deeply exercised freedom of imagination that is as much a tool for survival as it is an embodiment of the resilience of the creative force. My images act as antithesis to estrangement. Through intimacy we transcend the chasm that disconnects us from one another and our own inner-dialogue, fundamentally reshaping entrenched patterns of power and oppression. - Rowan Renee