by Morgan LeBrun
This hyper realistic, water-based, ceramic sculpture is not yet finished. ‘Cracked but Never Broken’ is being stored as leather-hard clay until I have the opportunity to complete it in the fall of 2018.
Sometimes it may be difficult to speak out and to admit the truth. You may feel ashamed, hurt, depressed or alone. You are never alone. This reality is the basis of the #MeToo movement started by Tarana Burke in 2006. She founded the movement to help survivors of sexual assault on their journey to acceptance and recovery, with specific efforts toward aiding women of color in impoverished or low-wealth communities. With the help of social media presence, the #MeToo movement has gone viral and grown from one woman’s idea to an international phenomenon.
Of the millions of people who have reported sexual violence or harassment, Ashley Judd, a famous actress and political activist, has been effective in raising awareness of the movement as one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in October of 2015. Within the next couple of years, over 80 people followed her accusations. Finally, after their years of investigation and perseverance, Harvey Weinstein was arrested on May 25th, 2018. The #MeToo movement holds power and influence that is far greater than many understand. For hundreds of years, women, men and everything in between have kept their mouths shut, afraid of the consequences of speaking out; the #MeToo movement de-stigmatizes the shame and embarrassment that victims often experience. My goal with this piece is to embody the power and significance of the #MeToo movement through visual art. With clay as my medium of choice, I have created a hyper realistic ceramic bust of Ashley Judd. My piece, when completed, will feature cracks across the face and chest to represent the physical and mental impact of being a victim of sexual violence. I want to symbolize that this pain can be conquered and may eventually make a person stronger. In order to do so, I will fill the cracks in the piece with a glue-gold compound. This idea is inspired by the Japanese art of repairing pottery that has been broken with gold, silver, or platinum dusted lacquer called Kintsugi, meaning “golden joinery,” also known as Kintsukuroi, meaning “golden repair.”
As noted in her artist statement, Cracked but Never Broken is still a work in progress. The full work will be posted on The Blog when completed later in the fall.